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How Bring My Reclaim Back To Life

reclaim recycled clay

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#21 grajewski

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 04:03 AM

I use a lot of recycled clay for my ceramics - it can be a mixture of all kinds of clay. Also throw the slur from my throwing table so that the fine parts of clay wont disappear. As many people use the workshop the clay maybe with much (and big) schamot so I use it often for Raku work



#22 ChenowethArts

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 07:21 AM

We have a couple of recipes for porcelain at school that are mixed from scratch, without slop, every time. From my experience, porcelain just seems to be happier and definitely less contaminated when I start with a clean mixer, fresh water, and well measured/weighed ingredients.  I still adhere to the tradition of letting it rest for a few weeks when possible.  I may, eventually, outgrow that tradition...but I still believe I can tell a difference in freshly mixed and aged porcelain...or it could be that I'm just getting more stubborn in my old age :mellow: .

 

Stoneware on the other hand starts with blunged slop instead of fresh water...still taking care to stick with the well measured dry-mix ingredients .  Once out of the mixer, I wedge it briefly into 10 pound lumps, bag it, and store it in a tight-fitting RubberMade bin.  Most of the batches are about 200 pounds. I am hardly a production potter, so that lasts me a couple of weeks or more.

 

At home, I have no mixer, but do my best to keep my slop to a maximum of 5 gallons...and that is about once a week.  That slop (mostly stoneware) is reclaimed in large plaster bowl-forms and becomes my hand-building supply.  I rarely throw the reclaimed clay unless it is for small forms (mugs).

 

I get it that it may be more efficient to buy clay than to go through all of the hassle that I describe above. Perhaps it just takes longer for that to sink in to an old hippie like me :wacko:


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#23 Benzine

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 10:15 AM

I'm with you Paul, I realize it might be more efficient to just use new clay, but it seems wasteful to toss the old stuff.

Like Pres, it makes sense for me, budget-wise, to reclaim/ recycle clay. If I can reuse a couple hundred pounds a year, instead of buying new, that saves me enough money that I can buy a jar or two of glaze, bulk film, photo paper, etc.
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#24 Pres

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 10:30 AM

Reusing clay for me has become a matter of convenience. It is more convenient for me to recycle my clay rather than try to find a place to dump it. I live on a city lot that has very little spare ground and that is covered by concrete drive, or a deck. I bag scrap, dump in throwing slop, twist the bag and turn it upside down for a few weeks, pull it out rewedge it, put it back in the bag and let it set for a few more weeks. Then I rewedge before throwing. It is usually great clay to work with. One of the reasons I am reluctant to go to porcelain.


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#25 Biglou13

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:52 PM

Today I took slop/trim bucket, mixed with paint mixer,drill, then strained through 60 mesh. To this I added a known clay recipe. It's now slaking overnight in 2, 5 gal buckets. Tommorow starts the drying process.
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#26 ChenowethArts

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 07:54 AM

Reusing clay for me has become a matter of convenience. It is more convenient for me to recycle my clay rather than try to find a place to dump it. I live on a city lot that has very little spare ground and that is covered by concrete drive, or a deck. I bag scrap, dump in throwing slop, twist the bag and turn it upside down for a few weeks, pull it out rewedge it, put it back in the bag and let it set for a few more weeks. Then I rewedge before throwing. It is usually great clay to work with. One of the reasons I am reluctant to go to porcelain.

 

Pres,
I am an urban dweller as well and try to dump as little as possible...the clay trap beneath the sink being a notable exception (that nasty stuff goes away about 3-4 times a year...but I still put it in the hazardous material barrel).

I think I attribute the reclaim/re-cycle habit to times in college when I had little money and had to pay by-the-pound for any clay supplies needed for class (I also hear the echos of depression era parents/grandparents speaking).  Since then, the habit just seems a natural part of the whole process.  Again, I am more than willing to cut some slack to full-time-production people,  I do get the economy of time/efficiency involved at that level.


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#27 Biglou13

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 08:35 AM

Pres why can't you reclaim porcelain?

I reclaim re-cycle, make clay because it puts me in touch with clay, and process. People are more interested when they hear I make my own clay. I'm more interested because I make my own clay. I'm starting to understand the relationship of the ingredients. I don't own a pug mill, so it's physical (which I like). It's economical (ish) I suppose if I were a production potter I'd think otherwise. At this point I'm an advanced hobbyist/avocation.
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#28 bciskepottery

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 09:06 AM

Lately I've taken my scraps/reclaim to another potter who has access to a pug; he either keeps for himself or adds the clay to the reclaim from the studio that they pug and resell to students. Most of my scraps are from hand-building, so the fine clay particles are still intact.

#29 Pres

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 09:18 AM

Pres why can't you reclaim porcelain?
 

I should have been more clear here.  I don't relish going to porcelain as I would have a major clean job to do, as I have lots of stoneware yet to use, as I would be looking at a whole new set of glaze tests, and as I have always believed that porcelain would need longer aging time than my stoneware to get back to throw-ability. Some of these perceptions are probably off, and I have made inroads into whiter clay bodies over the years, bouncing back and forth looking for what I really want. I guess in the long run it will mean getting some sample clays from SC and playing with them.


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