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Reclaim clay


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#1 Mary T

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:38 PM

What is the best, easiest way to reclaim dried clay from pots that weren't fired without using a pugmill?

#2 neilestrick

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:13 PM

Put them in a bucket of water. Let them turn to sludge. Pour off excess water. Put the sludge on a pillowcase or other old piece of fabric. Let it sit on a plaster slab or concrete floor for a couple of days, turning it over once or twice a day. Once it's dry enough, wedge it up and use it again.
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#3 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:46 PM

I recycle all my trimmings as Neil describes. I let them dry, soak them in a 5 gallon bucket, stir them well til all lumps are gone and pour onto plaster slabs.
I also make paper clay by adding pulp to these buckets when I need to make some for sculptural work.

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#4 Mary T

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:48 AM

Thanks, Just watched utube Simon showing how he does it... just thought there might be an easier, quicker, less messy, better, etc. way to do it. Never thought of the cement floor idea, very good!

#5 Pres

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:47 AM

Put them in a bucket of water. Let them turn to sludge. Pour off excess water. Put the sludge on a pillowcase or other old piece of fabric. Let it sit on a plaster slab or concrete floor for a couple of days, turning it over once or twice a day. Once it's dry enough, wedge it up and use it again.


I use a similar method, I hang an old cloth laundry bag, and put my slop in that. It sits for a while dripping, and then dries a bit until I turn the bag inside out to remove the firm lump of clay. I then use the slash and slam method to start wedging, then wedge in my cone method.

In winter, I let a bag freeze outside, bring in to thaw, and the water runs out quick. Freezing brings much of the water to the surface, when thawed it just runs off.

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#6 Jo-Ann

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:54 PM

I mix mine with and old electric mixer, then I spill it out onto a cotton dish cloth and let it sit on my plaster slab table (or a bisqued clay mold i made) for a few days, then use a large drywall scraper and flip the mud, let it sit a day and flip the mud again. When it is solid enough to form I make big fat coils and arch them like a bridge to dry some more, a day later i wedge it up and if it needs more drying i make my coil arches another day.

#7 AtomicAxe

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 05:33 PM

If you live in a dry area like myself ... I ussually have to pour my slurry onto a canvas wrapped plaster slab then cover the sloury with plastic so it has to dry through the plaster, and not into the air so it is more controlled ... durring the summer I can roll it out into the sun and watch it steam from the bottom an wedge it up by the afternoon.

Otherwise just do what others have suggested, slurry the clay, pour off excess water and throw onto an absorbative surface with a fabric liner between it so you don't get cross contamination. Thick canvas (duck grade) is the best.




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