With two new cubes roughly gouged and ready to be dried before bisque firing, all looked well.
However, the following morning - more disasters. The cubes had dried out too quickly leaving cracks in and amongst the holes. The reason for the cracks was most likely due to the narrower parts of the clay wall drying out more quickly than the thicker clay resulting in the clay being pulled from wet to dry. The particles cracked under the pressure of being pulled apart.
My first thought was to start again and to return the clay to the recycle bucket - however, an urge took hold of me and I reached for the wire wool. I began to rub the course wire along the cracks which opened up like the Cheddar Gorge! Powdered clay floated up through the extractor and the cube began to smoothly erode in front of my eyes.
The result really excited me. The new gaps and holes were far more reminiscent of water erosion than I had already been spending my time on. The shapes and spaces within the eroded cube took on a new form.
I really loved this method of eroding the clay. I feel the cracks were 'natural' and occurred where they would have done in the landscape.
I enjoyed the process so much that I plan to repeat the quick dry method again - indeed, I have had withdrawal symptoms over the weekend.