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How to reclaim big solid lumps of bone dry clay

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Hello!   I've got about 4 large solid lumps of bone dry clay, approx. 4 or 5kg in weight each, which I'd like to reclaim.

They dried out this summer when I turned my back on them for 5 minutes and hadn't double wrapped them.  V annoying.

Anyway, does anyone have any hints and tips about how to reclaim them?  Do I need to invest in a good sledge hammer?  

Any suggestions much appreciated!



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Just put them back in the plastic bags the clay came in, put a twist tie on it and drop them on a concrete floor a few times. If it's bone dry it will break apart, leave them sit for the dust to settle in the bags then put the broken bits into a bucket of water to slake overnight. Skim the extra water off the top of the bucket and use a paint mixer to stir it up then dry on plaster or whatever your usual method of reclaiming slop is.

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This method works very well for me. Just rehydrated a 25lb bag of dry clay in a couple of days. 

Remove the clay from the bag. Wrap the clay in a fairly wet towel or other piece of cloth.  Put the clay back

in the bag and close it as tightly as you can.. I use a rubber band. Then immerse the whole thing in a bucket of 

water. Press a finger on the bag once a day. 2 days is usually enough to be able to wedge the clay again. It will be

stiffer in the center. At that point, I slice the clay and restack it, rotating and flipping each layer. Then, slap the

clay to join all the slices and cut again across the previous slices.. Repeat until the clay is homogenous.


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Another way to go would be making sure your clay bag doesn't have any holes; put about a cup of water into the bag with your block of clay; put the bag in a 5 gallon or other suitable bucket; add water to the bucket until it is just about an inch above the highest part of the block of clay; close the bag and secure with a twist-tie and let it sit for a day or two, checking the softness of the clay at the end of each day.  Placing the bag in a bucket of water compresses the water IN the bag against the clay without air bubbles and provides an even pressure on the inside water to help penetrate the clay. You may have to experiment to determine the right amount of water to put IN the bag each time you use this process...

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