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Once again: how do I reclaim clay?


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#1 Potterylover

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 09:24 PM

Please give me some pointers...I've never done it. I do have a wedging board with and without canvas on one side. I've been told a wedging board helps.

Thanks again!

#2 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 12:43 AM

Are you talking about trimmings Or dried out clay?
The pos t "it's alive" discusses trimmings.
If you have fired out lumps of clay you can chop it up and then soak and pour onto plaster, then wedge.
You can keep it in a plastic bag and a bucket and pour water into the bag and leave it for a week or two.
If it is still soft enough to get a 3/4 or one inch stick poked into it, make several holes, put water in them and let it rehydrate.
There are many other ways as well.
Marcia

#3 Potterylover

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 06:36 AM

Are you talking about trimmings Or dried out clay?
The pos t "it's alive" discusses trimmings.
If you have fired out lumps of clay you can chop it up and then soak and pour onto plaster, then wedge.
You can keep it in a plastic bag and a bucket and pour water into the bag and leave it for a week or two.
If it is still soft enough to get a 3/4 or one inch stick poked into it, make several holes, put water in them and let it rehydrate.
There are many other ways as well.
Marcia


Well, this is clay from the pottery wheel (trimmings) and from hand building. It's all in a bucket with water. Do I drain off the water, put it on the plaster or a few days then wedge?

#4 Denice

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:56 AM

I usually let the clay evaporate until its at the stage where I can scoop it out with my hand, I have never left clay on the drying table for days. Usually 8 hours, I turn the clay over and put the top side against the plaster half way through, I check it off and on during the day. When it's ready I slam it into a block and let it sit in a bag overnight and equalize and then wedge it when I'm ready to use it. Denice

#5 Nancy S.

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:03 AM


Are you talking about trimmings Or dried out clay?
The pos t "it's alive" discusses trimmings.
If you have fired out lumps of clay you can chop it up and then soak and pour onto plaster, then wedge.
You can keep it in a plastic bag and a bucket and pour water into the bag and leave it for a week or two.
If it is still soft enough to get a 3/4 or one inch stick poked into it, make several holes, put water in them and let it rehydrate.
There are many other ways as well.
Marcia


Well, this is clay from the pottery wheel (trimmings) and from hand building. It's all in a bucket with water. Do I drain off the water, put it on the plaster or a few days then wedge?


Being sans pugmill or mixer....that's what I usually do. If you let the bucket rest long enough for all the clay to settle to the bottom, you can pour off the clear water from the top (put it into another bucket for future reclaim use), and then lay the slurry out onto the wedging board. Wedge it up when it's dry enough to work. Depending on the temperature/humidity/thickness of the slurry on the board, this could take a few hours to a day. Maybe two, but check it often after the first 24 hours.

Some people say that you can put the slurry in a pillowcase or pant leg that's been stitched up on one end, and hang it from a clothesline. I've never tried that, personally, though I see how it could work.

#6 Potterylover

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:08 AM

I usually let the clay evaporate until its at the stage where I can scoop it out with my hand, I have never left clay on the drying table for days. Usually 8 hours, I turn the clay over and put the top side against the plaster half way through, I check it off and on during the day. When it's ready I slam it into a block and let it sit in a bag overnight and equalize and then wedge it when I'm ready to use it. Denice


Thanks Denice. When you said, "turn the clay over and put the top side against the plaster half way through", do you mean that you have it on the plaster and then flip it over? I was a little confused. Thanks!

#7 Potterylover

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:10 AM



Are you talking about trimmings Or dried out clay?
The pos t "it's alive" discusses trimmings.
If you have fired out lumps of clay you can chop it up and then soak and pour onto plaster, then wedge.
You can keep it in a plastic bag and a bucket and pour water into the bag and leave it for a week or two.
If it is still soft enough to get a 3/4 or one inch stick poked into it, make several holes, put water in them and let it rehydrate.
There are many other ways as well.
Marcia


Well, this is clay from the pottery wheel (trimmings) and from hand building. It's all in a bucket with water. Do I drain off the water, put it on the plaster or a few days then wedge?


Being sans pugmill or mixer....that's what I usually do. If you let the bucket rest long enough for all the clay to settle to the bottom, you can pour off the clear water from the top (put it into another bucket for future reclaim use), and then lay the slurry out onto the wedging board. Wedge it up when it's dry enough to work. Depending on the temperature/humidity/thickness of the slurry on the board, this could take a few hours to a day. Maybe two, but check it often after the first 24 hours.

Some people say that you can put the slurry in a pillowcase or pant leg that's been stitched up on one end, and hang it from a clothesline. I've never tried that, personally, though I see how it could work.


Thanks for this info. Very helpful! I joist didn't want to do this without being absolutely sure the method!

#8 Nancy S.

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:16 AM




Are you talking about trimmings Or dried out clay?
The pos t "it's alive" discusses trimmings.
If you have fired out lumps of clay you can chop it up and then soak and pour onto plaster, then wedge.
You can keep it in a plastic bag and a bucket and pour water into the bag and leave it for a week or two.
If it is still soft enough to get a 3/4 or one inch stick poked into it, make several holes, put water in them and let it rehydrate.
There are many other ways as well.
Marcia


Well, this is clay from the pottery wheel (trimmings) and from hand building. It's all in a bucket with water. Do I drain off the water, put it on the plaster or a few days then wedge?


Being sans pugmill or mixer....that's what I usually do. If you let the bucket rest long enough for all the clay to settle to the bottom, you can pour off the clear water from the top (put it into another bucket for future reclaim use), and then lay the slurry out onto the wedging board. Wedge it up when it's dry enough to work. Depending on the temperature/humidity/thickness of the slurry on the board, this could take a few hours to a day. Maybe two, but check it often after the first 24 hours.

Some people say that you can put the slurry in a pillowcase or pant leg that's been stitched up on one end, and hang it from a clothesline. I've never tried that, personally, though I see how it could work.


Thanks for this info. Very helpful! I joist didn't want to do this without being absolutely sure the method!


Well, the nice thing about reclaiming clay is that if you don't do it right the first time....throw it back in the water and start over. ;)

#9 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 10:30 AM

if soaking trimmings, I use a heavy mixer with a drill after the clay has softened. Once it is a consistent slurry, I pour it onto plaster slabs and wedge it when it is feeling workable consistency.
Marcia

#10 Ben

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:03 AM

my fave method is:
dry completely
slake in water
mix to slurry
let settle
pour off excess water
make a frame of 2x4's ovel driveway, drape with old sheets
pour in slurry, cover with sheets
come back later and wedge

#11 Denice

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:02 AM


I usually let the clay evaporate until its at the stage where I can scoop it out with my hand, I have never left clay on the drying table for days. Usually 8 hours, I turn the clay over and put the top side against the plaster half way through, I check it off and on during the day. When it's ready I slam it into a block and let it sit in a bag overnight and equalize and then wedge it when I'm ready to use it. Denice


Thanks Denice. When you said, "turn the clay over and put the top side against the plaster half way through", do you mean that you have it on the plaster and then flip it over? I was a little confused. Thanks!


When the clay has loss enough of it's water you can peel it off the plaster and flip chunks of it over and put your gooey sticky side down on the plaster, I think the clay is more consistent in moisture and it takes less time. Every one has their own way to reclaim clay, I know a couple of production potters who throw it away because their production time is more valuable than the clay. I have never been able to bring myself to do that, just the way I was raised. Denice

#12 Lucille Oka

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 04:27 PM

Just to piggy back on what has been said,
If you are reclaiming a thick slurry or even a thicker mix on to a plaster slab, spread it out evenly over the surface. A good gauge for turning the clay over (like Denice has said) is too look at the clay edge against the plaster it will be raised up a bit from the plaster and if you are reclaiming a wetter mix it may have some cracks in the center (this is ok).
If you wait for this to happen it will be easier to lift and flip over. The wetter side will not take a long time to lose some of the surface water. You can then roll it up, or wedge it up a bit, or let it rest a bit more on the plaster if you need too, or put it into a plastic bag to even out the moisture and save the wedging for another day; keep it covered tightly.


John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

#13 pricklypotter

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 10:58 AM

also: save your throwing slurry and add it to the recycling bucket, you'll be putting all the fine particles back into the bucket and the clay will be more plastic that way.

#14 Cass

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:52 AM

try to have as little go to the slop bucket as possible

use a clay block bag and throw any sizable scaps in there, spraying some water in everytime, this quickly becomes habit...this i pound into pressmolds or re-wedge

i have some small press-molds, one is always next to the wheel to throw wet extra stuff, scape sloppy hands , etc...end of the day i press it...these are my little pedestals

use several small buckets for slop, dont get too big, or too many ... you will just fill them up! lol

#15 koreyej

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 03:00 PM

I have one 5 gallon bucket I keep scraps in. I let them dry completely, then slake, then pour off excess water. Then I put the sludge on a plaster bat to stiffen up. I flip it when it gets right on the plaster side. Then wedge and use. I find that reclaiming from dry scraps means less lumps and more even moisture in the clay. And as was said before, if you mess it up, just dry it out again and start over!

Korey Averill
ka Studios Pottery

www.kastudios.com





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