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Pam S

Recycling problem

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I need some advise for recycling clay. I'm having a huge problem with mold. My steps are, slop bucket, to drain pail, to a pan where it is wedged, then portioned out. I dry it on a canvas covered board, covered with plastic. Wedged again and put in a plastic sealed bin. I get mold, lots of mold... What am I doing wrong?

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Ya Potterstu is right, the mold will actually increase plasticity and will not change your finished product because it's lost on ignition.

 

I process most of my clay such as trimmings etc. by letting it dry completely which allows it to slake down quickly and easily. The slop bucket gets screened through a rough sieve into a drying mold. Once the dry stuff is slaked down I do the same thing to it, sieve it through a rough sieve into a drying mold. When sufficiently dry I cut wedge to combine the materials because what's in the slop bucket is not the same chemistry exactly as the dried trimmings. Once it's all cut wedged and adjusted for moisture content I make more pots.

 

I don't have a severe mold problem with my clay, probably because I keep most of it in a dry state until I'm ready to recycle.

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I have never had a mold problem but it must be because I use it so quick. When I am getting low on clay I will add water to my bucket of dried clay, let sit overnight, drain off excess water next day, stir it well then I scoop it out into unglazed bowls (bowls I bisqued that had inperfections) let it dry a bit then I wedge it and use it within 2 days usually.

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I need some advise for recycling clay. I'm having a huge problem with mold. My steps are, slop bucket, to drain pail, to a pan where it is wedged, then portioned out. I dry it on a canvas covered board, covered with plastic. Wedged again and put in a plastic sealed bin. I get mold, lots of mold... What am I doing wrong?

 

 

Mold is good-don't worry. The type of mold is safe for the skin also.

 

In the winter, I usually let my slop freeze, then thaw it in the basement letting the water run off in a pan. This does kill off mold, but the clay will regrow that in a few weeks time. The wedging time is much less, and it works as well as drying in the warm summer days.

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I love this group! Worries put aside! I'll just put on a paper mask when trimming or sanding as I have a bit of a problem with airborne mold spores. I have noticed that I like the clay on the second time around it works well for me.

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Well bleach is a deflocculant so that's not a good thing to add to your clay body. Especially a porcelain with high spar and low plastic content. It will take away it's integrity and make it sag. Vinegar is a flocculant which will kill the mold and cause your clay to stick together instead of fall apart. So if you do have the urge to rid your clay of mold (which none of us really recommend) use vinegar in small quantities diluted in water.

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