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Paradise8

Various Stoneware Clay

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I was taught in a school environment. The rule was do not mix different kinds of clay together.ok now later and on my own I have been throwing with all mid-range stoneware clay.Is it possible to reclaim this clay together?

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The group studio I work out of has a slop trash can trimmings, etc....... From some low fire, to porcelain,and everything I between goes in it. It gets reclaimed. And pugged. If is by far my favorite clay I've ever used. Ymmv. I think it will work.

As always.... Test.

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The studio that I use does the same thing with recombining all slop and pugging it. I surmise that as long as it's all combined thoroughly and it's all the same firing range, it's not an issue. Mixing half  ^04-05 clay with half ^6 clay and then trying to fire it at ^6, for example, may not work very well at all.

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We also make light recycled clay and dark recycled clay from many different kinds of clay at our studio. We add the slurry as well as the trimmings, to get the large and small clay particles into the reclaimed clay. Then we pug it. The mixtures contain many different Kinds of clays. The light reclaim has both stoneware and porcelains in it. Sometimes the clay is a little short, but for the most part, it's pretty good for throwing.

No reason not to mix different clays as long as they mature at the same temperature. Ours are all cone 10 clays.

I have to add that we have banned certain clays from our reclaimed clay, including Grogzilla, which has large stone like particles that are surprising if you're not expecting them and Frost, which doesn't play well with our other clays.

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My studio sells 4 different Laguna bodies (90, 66, 55, 16). All throwing slop and trimming scraps get mixed into a fruit punch clay that we pug and use for camp/afterschool/drop-in programming. We also sell it for 75% of the cost of the fresh clay. Some pople love it.

 

While we're on the topic, this recycled clay tends to be short... I don't know if this is the proper term. There's not much elasticity to the clay making it tear easily.  Is there something I could add to the mix when pugging?  Would aging the pugged clay help?  The vacuum on our pugmill has been nonoperational since well before I started here almost 7 years ago.  Would having vacuum suction help with the elasticity/structure of the clay, or would I just get rid of the air bubbles?

 

Thanks,

 

Chris

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Many clay companies sell a version of a body called 'Half and Half', which is half porcelain, half stoneware. Wonderful stuff, no matter who makes it!

 

In Japan that is called "hanjiki"... half porcelain.  GREAT woodfire bodies.

 

best,

 

.....................john

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Paradise... the two issues that I'd be aware of are glaze chemistry (interactions with the clay body) and glaze fit.

 

If your glazes are tested for fit to a specific clay body, and you switch to recycled (mixed) clay, the altered rates of thermal expansion/contraction in the recycled clay body may lead to problems like crazing, shivering, etc. Of course, if you're mixing clays with similar thermal expansion coefficients, this may not be an issue.

 

Also- glazes can look very different on a hi-iron clay body than on a porcelin clay body. So- if you're using a recycled clay with altered chemistry, you may see a different look.

 

These are probably the reasons your school tried to keep clays separate. For you, however, there's probably no practical reason to use your recycled clay as long as you're aware of these issues.

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