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Small city apartment wheel/bucket system??


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Hi all!

NYC clay studios have been closed for almost a full year and I'm desperate to start throwing again. I'm considering getting a Shimpo Aspire wheel and throwing in my NYC apartment. But, obviously, I will not be able to use the sinks at all -- except to get clean water. 

I'm curious if anyone has a home setup using only buckets -- for both cleaning, and also for recycling clay? If so, Id love to know how you do it!

(I know Ill need to be careful of dust, sponge clean/mop only, etc!)

Thank you,
Claire

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I switched to doing all of my throwing at home in my apartment when the lock down started first in brooklyn and now in los angeles. I use a 3 bucket system (plus a bowl that i keep my water/slip in when throwing).

1) I have a 5 gal bucket that i dump my throwing water/slip into when it starts becoming more slip/clay than water.
2) Every few days when this settles I pour it off into a smaller 2 gal bucket.
3) When that settles I pour the water either back into the throwing bowl or into a 1 gal container and the rest back into the big bucket.

I do have a studio i that i take my work to to be fired. i will take the big bucket every couple of weeks and dry my reclaim out there on some plaster and pick it up in a few days after it's dried out some. you could easily make them yourself at home. i just happened to keep mine there.

somethings that have helped are putting as little clay/slip into the bowl of water when throwing. ill pile it up on the side and put the really wet stuff into the big bucket and the kinda wet stuff on to a small piece of plaster i made to dry out a bit then it just gets wedged into some clay for throwing again.

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Hi Claire!

I'm also shuffling buckets, pouring off clear water, etc. - no clay down the drains, which be bad for the septic system, and I do reclaim, being cheap!

I'm retaining trimmings, failed pots, oops dropped (banged, nudged, tapped - the endless options for breaking greenware*), in plastic tubs on the shelf; when there's enough to make up two to three gallons of reclaim, I'll dump the fully dried clay bits into the sludge (outside, standing upwind/away from the dust), give it some slaking time, then thoroughly mix/blunge (I'll add a smidge of reclaim mix**, typically) turn out on plaster blocks, wedge, etc.

Given enough time, clay suspended in water will settle out; I'm employing three, sometimes four buckets - a one gallon throwing bucket, two setting buckets, and final resting bucket - only because I'm aiming for fully clear pour off. If there's any colour, I'll settle that in the intermediate bucket... The resting bucket will dry out, leaving a puck o' dried muck, given enough time; no matter, easily slaked. Particularly smelly muck may be ameliorated by a squirt of hydrogen peroxide, however, if left undisturbed, the smell ain' too bad. ,)

Any dried clay, whether bits, chunks, dried film, dirty rags, etc. is a source of dust, imo; keep after it with sponge, mop, diligence! I'm dumping mop water on the succulent garden. I'm settling clean up water for reclaim, same as throwing water.

*if all ware did not eventually break or otherwise fail, there'd be too many pots. :|

**Nerd's reclaim mix is described in several threads; here's one

https://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/19047-reclaimed-clay

 

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I use a similar system for reclaiming but instead of pouring off the clear water after the clay has settled, I use a siphon hose which keeps the silt in the bottom of the bucket from being disturbed. Then I'll pour the remaining slip into another bucket, repeating the process until the collecting bucket is almost full. Then, as I did yesterday, pour that bucket of very wet slip into the bucket of dried trimmings and other reclaimed dry clay. I'll now give it a day or two to saturate the dry mix, mix that up with my drill mixer, let it settle for a week or two then dry it out to wedging consistency on plaster bats.

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On 1/4/2021 at 3:20 PM, chouldin1 said:


I'm curious if anyone has a home setup using only buckets
 

This is the only way I have ever done it. I use one 5 gal bucket for cleaning water (half full), one for all my scrap clay, and a kids beach pail for my throwing water. No clay ever goes down a sink. 

I do however have a yard, so I can dump the cleaning water with no issue, not sure how that would work in a NY apartment.  Maybe the street drain on the curb would be fine, it's not like you would be dumping huge amounts of clay so even the toilet would probably be fine. 

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On 1/4/2021 at 4:04 PM, akilspots said:

I switched to doing all of my throwing at home in my apartment when the lock down started first in brooklyn and now in los angeles. I use a 3 bucket system (plus a bowl that i keep my water/slip in when throwing).

1) I have a 5 gal bucket that i dump my throwing water/slip into when it starts becoming more slip/clay than water.
2) Every few days when this settles I pour it off into a smaller 2 gal bucket.
3) When that settles I pour the water either back into the throwing bowl or into a 1 gal container and the rest back into the big bucket.

I do have a studio i that i take my work to to be fired. i will take the big bucket every couple of weeks and dry my reclaim out there on some plaster and pick it up in a few days after it's dried out some. you could easily make them yourself at home. i just happened to keep mine there.

somethings that have helped are putting as little clay/slip into the bowl of water when throwing. ill pile it up on the side and put the really wet stuff into the big bucket and the kinda wet stuff on to a small piece of plaster i made to dry out a bit then it just gets wedged into some clay for throwing again.

Thanks for this!

What about cleaning water? Do you just keep 1 bucket of water going for that, and let it settle each night? 

And to clarify your bucket system: 

- The first bucket collects scraps, slip, throwing water and breakage
- The second bucket is just water that you've siphoned off from the first bucket? 
- And the third bucket is just one more bucket of siphoned water to make sure it's extra clear? 

And then do you just wipe out the clay that's settled at the bottom of those buckets, and put it in bucket 1?

 

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On 1/5/2021 at 10:36 AM, Hulk said:

Hi Claire!

I'm also shuffling buckets, pouring off clear water, etc. - no clay down the drains, which be bad for the septic system, and I do reclaim, being cheap!

I'm retaining trimmings, failed pots, oops dropped (banged, nudged, tapped - the endless options for breaking greenware*), in plastic tubs on the shelf; when there's enough to make up two to three gallons of reclaim, I'll dump the fully dried clay bits into the sludge (outside, standing upwind/away from the dust), give it some slaking time, then thoroughly mix/blunge (I'll add a smidge of reclaim mix**, typically) turn out on plaster blocks, wedge, etc.

Given enough time, clay suspended in water will settle out; I'm employing three, sometimes four buckets - a one gallon throwing bucket, two setting buckets, and final resting bucket - only because I'm aiming for fully clear pour off. If there's any colour, I'll settle that in the intermediate bucket... The resting bucket will dry out, leaving a puck o' dried muck, given enough time; no matter, easily slaked. Particularly smelly muck may be ameliorated by a squirt of hydrogen peroxide, however, if left undisturbed, the smell ain' too bad. ,)

Any dried clay, whether bits, chunks, dried film, dirty rags, etc. is a source of dust, imo; keep after it with sponge, mop, diligence! I'm dumping mop water on the succulent garden. I'm settling clean up water for reclaim, same as throwing water.

*if all ware did not eventually break or otherwise fail, there'd be too many pots. :|

**Nerd's reclaim mix is described in several threads; here's one

https://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/19047-reclaimed-clay

 

Thanks! I think I get it for the most part, but what exactly do you mean by a setting bucket and a resting bucket? Could you explain to me the process between the throwing bucket + the 3 other buckets? And then also, what do you do for cleaning water?

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Hi Claire,

The final resting bucket (resting bucket) is where I'm collecting the slop to eventually reclaim; the slop will sit in there until then. As mentioned, it will eventually dry out and form a solid puck if it sits long enough. I started out lumping the various clays together, not for long, however. I keep them separate now.

Depending on the clay, it can take a day to several days to settle to the point that clear water can be poured off, hence I might have another bucket or two where settling is progressing. If I just pour yesterday's throwing water in, not only does the level go up, it agitates what's in there. Typically, there's a bucket that I don't want to disturb just yet, hence, multiple buckets. Perhaps it depends on how clear you want the water the plants water to be (or whatever you are goin' to do with it). Make sense? Variables include how much water is being generated, how long it takes to settle so clear can be poured off, how clear I want the "clear" to be. Johnny's siphoning approach gets around agitation, however, if he's generating x gallons to settle, he'll still need that much room, yes? If his final bucket isn't settled out yet, perhaps he dumps today's water in a second bucket, etc.

For cleaning the floor, I have a mop bucket, wringer, and mop. That water gets dumped on the succulents in the front yard, however, I often do pour off clear water from the mop bucket to re-use, and then dump the yuck, rinse the mop bucket, and go back to't. For wiping down the wheel and pan, tools, wedging boards, etc. - all that was clean to start the day's session, so the wiped up clay water all ends up in the settling process to reclaim. Clay clean up water has clay in it! I might use my throwing bucket to start, then dump and refresh that to finish up cleaning. Even if the throwing bucket is barely dirty, I still might have a clear water bucket to rinse off my hands afore ducking in the house, using my phone, etc. I'm really trying to limit dried clay on the floor and working surfaces, for dry clay -> dust.

I have lots of two and five gallons buckets! I use buckets over pots to control drying - depending on the weather, what my plans are, etc., I often look to slow down drying, and I loathe draping plastic on wet work.

For glazing, I'm settling, pouring off clear water, and retaining the sludge to make reclaimed glaze; the last batch turned out light grey/blue, which is actually usable...

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Hi Claire,

I wanted to just pass along the name of an NYC ceramics studio that is still open during the pandemic—Sculpture Space NYC in Long Island City. I believe they are currently accepting applications for memberships. It's an absolutely beautiful space to work in. Their membership fees are a little on the higher side, but it might be worth the trade-off to dealing with working in your apartment. 

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