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Practicing throwing - what to do with wet clay??


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Hello new wannabee potter here. I'm throwing the same thing over and over to try and get better at the basics but not sure what to do with all the clay that I use to practice. I'm keeping some pieces to see how they turn out after glazing and firing but I don't want to throw all this other clay. I know you can use plaster boards to dry it out and rewedge but I'm in a shared studio and there isn't space to leave plaster boards out for long periods of time. Any tips? Thanking you in advance!

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Hi Janu!

When you've scrunched your freshly thrown piece back into a ball, then smooshed it flat on a plaster bat/slab, it shouldn't take very long for the clay to dry enough to be ready for wedging and re-throwing - perhaps less than an hour, even when the humidity is high. You might peel it up, wedge it some, and smash it flat on the plaster a few times...

In the long term, there's "reclaiming" - which there are several threads on this forum for that topic.

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If you leave your wet smooshed clay lumps in the plastic bag you don't even need to flatten them on plaster.  The old clay bags I put mine in seem to leak enough air,  I  can use them in a few days.   If they start getting a little too dry a few new smooshed clay lumps in the bag will soften them up.  I throw fairly dry so I recycle my throwing slop,   I dump it in a 5 gal bucket,  when the bucket is full  I will lay it out on some plaster slabs and then wedge it up.  It doesn't take it very long to get to wedging consistency,  I have several slabs that are  18"x10"3".   They are nice size for handling  and  stacking for out of the way storage.   Denice

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21 minutes ago, liambesaw said:

Wedging in plaster is a very quick way to remove moisture.  Quicker than leaving it sitting on plaster for sure.

Perhaps wedging "on" plaster would be a little clearer. (just in case someone takes it literally ;)

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I like to make my small slabs in the summer,  don't like to much plaster work in my studio.    I find a couple of sturdy boxes that are a size I can handle,  I reinforce the outside edges, corners and seams with duct tape.  I cut the box to the height of four inches,  makes it easier to pour and handle.    I purchase a 25lb bag of pottery plaster and clean a flat area of concrete to put my boxes.   I mix a half of bag of plaster in a 5 gal bucket and dump it into one of the boxes.   I immediately start mixing the other batch,   no need to clean the bucket.   When that bucket is poured into the box,  I giggle the boxes to bring any bubbles to the top so I can smooth them.   I can't tell you how much water I use because I have mixed plaster for so many years I just use a garden hose since I am working outside.  You can find charts on the internet on mixing plaster that will tell you how much water you need.  The colder the water is the more working time you will have with the plaster.    I leave them drying on the concrete for days unless it is going to rain.   Denice

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