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Elise

Is my clay ruined?

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I purchased 6 blocks of 50 lb each stoneware clays this past fall and stored them in my slightly insulated garage for the winter. 

I live in Montana and it got to -32F this winter. That was an outlier day but it was -20 to 0 consistently for a couple months. 

I know.  :(

Was just made aware of the fact that freezing can ruin clay. Was made aware of this fact TODAY. 

I haven’t used any of this clay yet but just was going to start throwing again this week. 

Is this clay salvageable?

I’m so sad right now. 

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Elise, as everyone says, the clay is fine. . . just needs wedging. I usually order around a ton at a time, and have it for 2-3 years. That much clay is stored outside under my kayak tarp one a 2X6 riser to keep the boxes off the wet concrete. It freezes and thaws in the winter, and I usually start back into the clay in the Spring when the shop thaws out(uninsulated brick garage). I slam the bag on all sides on the floor or wedging table before opening. Then I cut the block into large bread slices and slam together to start rewedging. Then I divide the block into four even pieces and wedge each one.  I have found that I actually like the clay better after it has frozen as it seems to be a bit stiffer, and a little more plastic.

 

best,

Pres

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Pres beat me to the fun part of slamming the clay around on concrete.   Another thing you might try before you do that is  putting a block of clay in a  plastic 5 gal bucket for a day or two.   The water pressure will push the extra moisture on the outside of the clay inwards and make it more consistent.    I have never tried doing this with clay that has frozen  but I do it all the time with clay that needs a little more water.   I like to keep the bag tied up opening above the water level.   For some reason I can't get the wire tie tight enough and to much water will get in if it is totally submerged.    Denice

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1 hour ago, Denice said:

Pres beat me to the fun part of slamming the clay around on concrete.   Another thing you might try before you do that is  putting a block of clay in a  plastic 5 gal bucket for a day or two.   The water pressure will push the extra moisture on the outside of the clay inwards and make it more consistent.    I have never tried doing this with clay that has frozen  but I do it all the time with clay that needs a little more water.   I like to keep the bag tied up opening above the water level.   For some reason I can't get the wire tie tight enough and to much water will get in if it is totally submerged.    Denice

A couple of things to follow up here...you are putting it in a plastic 5 gal bucket that has water in it but, after you slam the bag of clay on the concrete, check it for holes before you put it in the bucket. Then put it in the bucket and fill the bucket with water to just above the block of clay, but below the opening in the bag. If the bag has ANY holes it, water WILL get into the bag and saturate the clay more than you want. Leave it in the bucket of water for a day or 2 and you should be ready for wedging...I save empty and water tested bags just for this purpose.

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1 hour ago, JohnnyK said:

A couple of things to follow up here...you are putting it in a plastic 5 gal bucket that has water in it but, after you slam the bag of clay on the concrete, check it for holes before you put it in the bucket. Then put it in the bucket and fill the bucket with water to just above the block of clay, but below the opening in the bag. If the bag has ANY holes it, water WILL get into the bag and saturate the clay more than you want. Leave it in the bucket of water for a day or 2 and you should be ready for wedging...I save empty and water tested bags just for this purpose.

Great tips I will make sure to follow! Thank you!

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Thanks everyone for your help and advice. I will slam my clay today and will use the 5 gal bucket trick, making sure to check for holes. 

 

Thanks again! 

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