A drying rack is any piece of furniture used to hold multiple objects away from one another as they dry. Materials are usually non-porous and lightweight, with many holes or gaps cut all the way through shelves or panels of a rack, intended to allow ease of transport and maximum airflow across all surfaces and objects placed on the drying rack.
A clothes-drying rack is usually wood, hard plastic, or painted metal; it keeps pieces of clothing apart from each other so that all their surfaces can air-dry, instead of allowing them to keep each other damp and vulnerable to mildew.
A drying rack for pottery usually consists of stone or wooden shelves in a warm room; pieces of plastic clay and leather hard clay can sit there for a day or longer, becoming bone dry in preparation for kiln-firing into bisqueware and then glazeware.
Drying racks for wheels and blocks of cheese are usually wooden and kept in a cool, dark place. The cheese may be treated for curing and aging for a long time before it sees the market. The porous nature of wooden cheese racks allow cheese colonies to reside in the wood itself, influencing the quality of the cheese where it is in contact with the wood. For some European cheeses, it is mandatory that they are aged only on wooden racks, or they cannot be sold under the same label as other cheeses made from the same milk and cultures.
Bakeries and pizzerias use stone or wooden racks for drying and cooling bread and pizza fresh from the oven. Often there remains significant moisture in a loaf of bread, even after its time in an oven, and this moisture must be allowed to evaporate to preserve the bread against early mold.
A luthier may use drying racks consisting of metal pegs and hooks, after varnishing a violin or other instrument.
In schools of art and architecture, a wooden or heavy plastic drying rack is used to protect and air-dry paintings. Sometimes these drying racks have wheels and push-handles, used to transport an entire studio's paintings to a single location for evaluation by a professor. This cart is sometimes called a charrette, and from the stressful state of hurriedly carrying a still-wet painting to the cart, we gain one attested origin of the phrase "en charrette."
Iron Noder Challenge 2014, 16/30