Bowl blanks can be dried using "chemistry". Submerging the blanks in various liquids can actually facilitate the loss of moisture.
Before the pandemic, denatured alcohol was readily and turners would soak their blanks in it. Several sources of information on this-
From the AAW-
From Mr. David Reed Smith-
From David J. Marks-
Alcohol should become more readily as the pandemic wanes.
Another soaking method is using soap and water. As near as I can determine, this method was developed by Ron Kent- a Hawaii based turner. Even though he passed away several years ago, his website is still up and his original process is listed there.
Using pretty much the same process, Ernie Conover discusses this in a Woodcraft blog-
The AAW also has a discussion on this method-
As well as the folks over at Sawmill Creek-
I have personally adopted this method and find it works extremely well. At this time, none of my bowls have cracked and show very little deformation. This method is also very inexpensive.
One final "chemical" drying is to immerse the bowl blanks in a desiccant material. These materials absorb moisture from the wood.
This video, from Ernie Conover and The Woodworker's Journal demonstrates the procedure-
Although initially expensive, desiccant can be reused by heating the crystals in the oven to "re-activate" them.
A discussion from the AAW-
Although not as popular as some of the other methods, Some turners have tried to boil the bowl blanks. This PDF, from the Arizona Woodturner's Association and written by Bill Noble has some details-
In the final entry, we will look at sources that have lists of multiple methods of drying.