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^5 clay

^5 clay

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Hi and welcome! 

How much clay do you have to recycle?

Slaking the bone dry clay down in a bucket of hot water and mixing it with a paint or grout mixing bit until smooth will be your first step, but how you dry it out after that kind of depends on what you have to work with.  Plaster slabs are a common method of drying your clay back to a workable state, but  if you don't have one of those, I have used other methods, including:

-filling thrift store pillowcases with the resulting slurry and laying flat on a concrete slab somewhere

- laying a bedsheet over wire shelving and drying the clay on that, similar to a plaster slab

-lining terra cotta pots with a pillowcase and drying the slurry in that. (the first method worked better)

If you don't have a pug mill, wedging the reconstituted clay will definitely be required. 

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Depending on the quantity of the clay, a great method is to put the dried clay in double plastic bags-absolutely no holes- and add about a 1/2 c or a bit more of water before sealing the top firmly with rubber bands or twist ties. Place the bag in a 5 gal. painters bucket and then fill the bucket with water just about to the top of the bag where it is sealed. Let it sit. In a few days or so, you will have moist clay, ready to wedge! The pressure of the water outside the bag forces the water inside the bag into the clay to rehydrate it.  Simple. I don't have exact ratio's, this was for the equivalent of maybe 2/3 of a standard block of concrete-hard clay.  After one time you'll see roughly about how much inner water you'll need.

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lee, i did this last year with a rock of  Frost porcelain.  my problem was that i forgot about it and left it for months while i was gone.  i came back to a bag of clay soup.:huh:  

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The part about no holes in the method LeeU suggests. Really not even the teensiest hole that you might not even notice. Old lady's method makes slow clay soup. I made pretty fast clay soup.

Otherwise it's a terrific method. :)

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