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margerydi

How To Get Rid Of Clay And Glaze Slops?

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Hi - I'm a hobby potter and work in my garage, which has no running water. Can anyone please help me with how I can get rid of clay and glaze slops without ruining my plumbing or garden. Ie, at the moment I pour a bucket of slops down the drain, or in a corner of my (small) garden, but long term this is not ideal and will probably block my drain!  I've searched online but can only find quite complex methods. Is there a simple way to get rid of this waste? (I reclaim the clay - I'm talking about the water from washing down surfaces etc.)

 

Thank you!

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If you don't have the room for this you can made something similar. http://ceramicartsdaily.org/clay-tools/making-clay-tools/how-to-make-a-better-homemade-sink-trap-for-your-pottery-studio/

 

You will definitely need to do something or you will pay the price with the plumber. We using something similar to the above but just a 5 gallon bucket used as a single stage (above it two) that feeds into the top of the bucket and then out the side to the drain pipe. We once had a plastic garbage can instead of the 5 gallon bucket at the old studio. Pretty much anything will work as long as it's water tight, easy to cut holes in but study enough to last, big enough to act as a catch basis but small enough to easily handle once it gets clay in it. I clean ours about once ever 6 months; she can't handle it on her own... or chooses not to because she has me. :D

 

Another easy thing I have seen is a small piece of PVC pipe (or sink drain pipe) about 3 or 4" long stuck straight down into the sink drain from the top. This forces water to build up in the sink till it reaches the top of the pipe and then flows over down the drain. This makes the sink itself become the catch basin. The studio I've seen this in has BIG sinks which make it more practical than smaller ones. Whatever you do, so something; sooner or later stuff will build up if you don't.

 

While it's highly unpractical to get all clay particles out of drain water, the idea is (hopefully) you get enough out that the remaining particles are so few, small and light that the water will keep them suspended long enough to get them all the way down the pipe without settling out.

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Leave the slop water in a 5 gallon bucket until it settles, pour off the cleanest water from the top and let whats left in the bucket evaporate. Sponges also help to suck up the clean water from the top.  Reclaim the dry stuff thats left in the bottom of the bucket, i don't mix it with the good clay tho, it will have stuff from the floor in it.

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If you no longer want the clay or glaze dry it out and then throw it in trash once its in dry form.You can do this by evaporation or put it in a clay box outside in sun out of the wether. You freeze it out in winter. many methods to remove the liquids.

To not put down a drain.

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Thank you - I think I will look into the bucket capture system. I do reclaim some of the clay - it's the table washings etc that I need to deal with - probably 50% dust and spiders webs so no good for recycling! I think if I get a drying tray as well as suggested by Mark C that could work, at least in the summer.

 

I'll be careful not to put anything else down the drains!!

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I use the barrel system also but my first line of defense is the dish pan in my sink.  I let the clay settle every night and pour the clear water down the drain into the barrel system where it settles again through a three barrels and then into the sump pump.  When the dish pan starts to fill up I dump it in a field across the street since it is just clay. When I  am glazing I use a different dish pan in my sink I do the same settling procedure except for the final step I put the glaze gunk in a bucket to let dry.  Then I take the bucket to the hazardous waste recycle station.  Denice

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You need to keep separate your clean clay for recycling, and things like glaze slops and other non-recyclable material.

If your clay is reasonably wet, you can add some water to it, leave to soak, then put it onto a plaster bat and wedge it. If too dry for this to work, let it dry out fully before adding water (I keep 2 buckets on the go, one for each).

 

As you may have seen from many of the posts in ere about toxicity, some of the glaze materials used are toxic, and should not just be poured down the drain or into the garden - you don't want them feeding the vegetables or getting into the drinking water, or affecting wildlife at large (clay and fluxes are generally OK, it is primarily the colourants). I have a water trap that catches as much as possible of this, which settles and water evaporates off or is drained off. I then periodically clear out the sludge, put them into unglazed reject pots so the water can get out, and leave them for a few months to dry out. Once dried, I fire them (with nothing else in the kiln), which encapsulates all the materials in the fired slurry and makes it safe to dispose of them into the waste with minimal risk of leaching toxins.

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Thank you very much. So, this is my plan: one bucket for 'clean' slurry - pour in the slurry and scoop out water from the top as it settles, and at a certain point, reclaim the clay. Then two additional buckets, one lined with a thick plastic bag. At the end of each session, I can pour any dirty water into the lined bucket (from the other bucket, which I have filled with fresh water). The next session, I can scoop out the clean water from the top of the lined bucket and either re-use (a couple of times) or pour on the grass or flowers (not vegetables!) I think the water should be relatively clean, as the particles will have settled, so it's OK to do this in moderation. When my lined bucked is getting full of sediment, I can just tie it up and take it to the dump. As I'm not a commercial potter, I think it's ok to do this as it will only be a small amount.

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I don't think it matters whether you dump dry or wet, the point is to be aware of the toxins you may be letting loose into the environment and the cumulative effect of this and similar actions on the environment.

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I settle my glazes in a separate tub,  I drain most of the clean water off and put the glaze sludge in a large jar and let it dry up.   When the jar is full I take it to a hazardous waste facility.  The water I drain off goes into another bucket to dry up.   I live fairly close to a creek so I am careful when handling any chemicals.  Denice

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I put alll bits of glazez together and add a pinch of rutile, for luck, and iron and use on planters if not sure of toxicity.

Water settled from clay slurry just aint water .Use it when recycling clay or as a base for throwing slip.

Can't see a need to discard clay..can be used to improve sandy soil.....

Just saying

Esp if only a hobbyist....

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Yep, water can be used over and over again in pottery, so never throw it out!  I have never dumped water out ever.  The water from my utility sink drains to my garden, but I only ever use that to wash my hands and glaze sieve.  

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55 minutes ago, K. Sabelman said:

I once read an article in Ceramics Monthly about a studio that mixed the high fire glaze sludge with low fire clay to make small bricks  and created a pathway. 

Yeah, a lot of unwanted glaze waste, can be fired so they melt, and are relatively less hazardous. 

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