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Clay Cat Litter

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Hi all, I have a question that has probably never been asked before:  is clay-based cat litter usable as content for casting slip? I ask this because  it's cheaper and  I can buy it from a local store rather than order my usual clay online and have to pay an exorbitant delivery fee. I like to experiment so was going to make something small to see what would happen but I also thought I'd put the question out there in case anyone had actually tried this. Thanks in advance!

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There are very few clays that are useable on their own as a casting slip (or throwing body for that matter). A clay body requires clay, binders such as feldspars or talc, silica, and other things. So even if the litter would work as the clay content, you'd still have to buy a bunch of other ingredients to make it work. Just take some of you normal clay, dry it out and pulverize it, and make slip out of that for now.

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No it will not work-Thats my hunch from my life in clay experience.

You can add kitty litter to REAL clay slip slip-but that also needs testing and really has no gain as I can see.

You can test it and tell us the results.I think we would or at least I would be amazed if it did work.

I could ask my cat but he passed away two years ago.

 

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Your product says it is Australian bentonite, but we have both the sodium and calcium bentonite (aka Fullers Earth) here in Oz, so you would have to know which one it is.  Search sodium bentonite and calcium bentonite on these forums and there is plenty of discussion.  

Have to say that in my experience/research cat litter is usually the calcium bentonite variety.  Calcium bentonite is plenty plastic, but not sure how much that will matter for slip casting?

I think shrinkage will be the main issue  either way.  Sodium bentonite will be super shrinking and you will probably get a lot of cracking in your molds.  Calcium bentonite shrinks less, and will be more forgiving.   With either one, though, I would be blending with normal clay.  Only experimentation will reveal the right blend.

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I live in central Missouri, USA. And have dug and used a local clay that has been used commercially for over a hundred years for firebrick at the A. P. Green Co. in Mexico, Missouri and is currently used to manufacture kitty litter at a facility east of Columbia, Missouri. The natural clay is loaded with a lot of organic material, like plant roots. When fired it produces an almost snow white color too a very light pinkish off white. The surface is open and course when fired. I am planning a pit firing this coming Fall, 2019, with a blend of quartz sand in the clay. The vessels will have a bisque firing before their sawdust and charcoal pit firing. when brushed with a large wet house painting brush the quartz sand produces a linear patterned texture. This batch will be colored blue with lye water from ashes and the browns from pit firing. Like always we’ll see how it goes. 

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