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Problem with clay texture


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Hi there,

I sometimes have a problem with my recycled clay, it has a texture that tears even though it is at the right consistency in terms of moisture. Wedging doesn't help. I wedge on plywood; I never have a problem with the clay coming out of the bag. Could someone please give me some insight?

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Edited by nomis
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however you are recycling it, you are washing away  the very fine bits that  make your clay plastic.   if you are throwing, do not dispose of the wet leftovers in your water bucket.  let them slake down and mix them back into the reclaim.

consider other ways of recycling the clay to include the "fines".

 

 

 

 

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So, CactusPots, you're describing what works for you, as opposed to what process which doesn't? I don't know of any other method of recycling other than adding water to dried leftovers.

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It's not that I'm adding water, it's how much.  It's way too wet (soft) to work. .  Clay will naturally lose water, even in the plastic bag.  The aging process is what makes really nice clay.

I don't know exactly what is going on with recycling clay and the condition you describe and I have observed myself.  I don't know that it really is "short", but that's the best description I have.  The process of adding extra water to the recycle and then letting it age to the desired firmness is the only way I have found to overcome this cracking.  The upside is that clay processed this way is really good.

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You haven’t mentioned if you’re handbuilding or throwing. Usually it’s only common to remove the fine particles from clay via throwing. If you aren’t adding your throwing water back into your reclaim, you’re discarding all the nice slip. If you’re handbuilding, Cactuspots’ advice will be more applicable.

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@nomis If you find you need to fix your reclaim, one of our members, Glazenerd came up with a simple additive that can help short reclaim. If you mix 80 ball clay, 10 feldspar and 10 silica (use your local varieties), and add about 250 ml by volume of this mix to 4L of reclaim slurry, it’ll add the missing pieces back in. You can play with the amount a bit, that’s just a starting point. You can go by feel.

Edited to add: 

You will get best results by thoroughly mixing this into your reclaim slip, blending it until there’s no lumps and drying it out again. It’s possible to incorporate it by cut and slam wedging, but that’s more physical labour.

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16 hours ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

You haven’t mentioned if you’re handbuilding or throwing. Usually it’s only common to remove the fine particles from clay via throwing. If you aren’t adding your throwing water back into your reclaim, you’re discarding all the nice slip. If you’re handbuilding, Cactuspots’ advice will be more applicable.

Or if you throw and trim a lot.   Say leave 1" thick base for trimmed feet plus bottom.

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