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Pugged Clay Storage?


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Hello everyone,

Great community and thank you to the moderators! I am new to the pugging game and working my way into production pottery... I looking for tips on storage and how long the clay is viable for throwing after pugging without having to wedge or re-pug? I generally use either Laguna Speckled Buff or B-mix cone-5/6. Thanks in advance for your comments.

Edited by Stumonster Clayworks
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If you use a good thick plastic bag to store it, it should keep for 9 months to a year. Most clay companies guarantee theirs for 1 year from the mixing date. I will say, though, that since clay companies stopped using twist-ties on their bags, it doesn't keep as long. So seal it up tight, whatever you do.

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Laguna still uses twist ties, but their bags are unpredictable. I am wondering... I have a rather large wetbox (plaster on bottom) that I use for storing handles... Would this work for the pug logs or would it get too gooey because of the extra humidity? I live in the desert in AZ so I have to pour in a half cup of water every month. 

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20 minutes ago, Stumonster Clayworks said:

Laguna still uses twist ties, but their bags are unpredictable. I am wondering... I have a rather large wetbox (plaster on bottom) that I use for storing handles... Would this work for the pug logs or would it get too gooey because of the extra humidity? I live in the desert in AZ so I have to pour in a half cup of water every month. 

I keep my reclaim that needs wedging in plaster boxes and it keeps fine as long as it doesn't puddle too bad.

But that doesn't seem like it would be a large enough container to keep much clay in.  Do you have any old clay bags you can use? Or painters plastic you can wrap it in?  

If I had a pugmill I'd probably just pug what I need for the day ahead of time and keep it on plastic.  I buy the 4 mil painters plastic roll of drop cloth and reuse it indefinitely. 

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1 hour ago, neilestrick said:

If you use a good thick plastic bag to store it, it should keep for 9 months to a year. Most clay companies guarantee theirs for 1 year from the mixing date. I will say, though, that since clay companies stopped using twist-ties on their bags, it doesn't keep as long. So seal it up tight, whatever you do.

All my clay still comes with twist ties-Laguna Clay Co clay

This must be a local deal in the midwest

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My clay from Highwater and Standard does not come with twist ties. The bags are just folded over, and the boxes keep them closed. I agre that older lots of clay will be harder than newer lots. 

@Stumonster Clayworks, I agree with those who say you should only pug an amount that you are going to use in the next day or so. It’s not a good idea to let your pugmill sit idle for too long, or you risk letting things harden up inside. I keep my pugged clay in a plastic box with a gasket on the lid, and it stays moist for several days. I use a box because it is much easier to access a box compared to a bag. After a few days though, moisture evaporates from the clay but stays in the box. Condensation forms into puddles while the clay gets harder. So after a few days, any clay left over will get pugged again. If I pug any clay that I know I will not be using soon, I put it into a plastic bag (a bag that the clay comes in), and close it with a clasp. The smaller amount of air in the bag seems to hold the clay in the same state for a long time. 

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I reused the bags the new clay came in.  Both for scrap collection and wetting and once it's pugged.   I recycle the ties from lettuce for a better twist tie than comes with the clay bag.  I have tortoises, so I have lots of lettuce ties.

I think the best way to use recycle is to pug it wet and store it for at least 3-4 months.  Naturally, it will dry out a little, but it usually seems to hit the mark for being softer and better throwing than commercial.

Speckled Buff and B Mix are really different and  should be a pretty interesting combination.  The B Mix is like half porcelain, right?  You could probably find a specific use for the new clay.  I have friends who desperately want my recycle, but I'm loving throwing a whole bag 20lbs.  So much better than commercial.

The Peter Pugger seems to perfectly keep the main mixer moist, no matter how long.  Have not tried it for years.  The vacuum chamber part will dry out, so there's that.

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