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Recycled clay drying issues


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Recycled clay is currently drying on plaster bats which have been fine and no issues previously.  Right now I have clay which is still quite wet 1 week later….current humidity is 78% so could this be the problem or perhaps plaster bats didn’t dry out enough after last use - I only let them dry for 3 days before using again …? One other thing I changed is that I used a drill bit mixer to get a smoother consistency of clay before applying to the plaster bats. Previously I just hand mixed but wasn’t happy with the amount of lumpy clay.  I have setup 2 fans to try and help the clay dry but wonder if anyone else has input or advise.  Thanks :)

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If you’ve got 78% humidity and your plaster was still saturated from the last batch, odds are good this is going to take more than a week to dry. At this point the best recourse would be to either just let nature take it’s course and have patience, or get a dehumidifier.

You won’t regret mixing your reclaim to a smooth consistency. The end result is much nicer.

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Hi Gone!

I'm using plaster blocks 9x13 inches, almost two inches thick. After reclaiming clay, in takes several days to thoroughly dry out the plaster - where they no longer feel cool to the touch - even with a few afternoons in the sun.

We're near the Pacific, hence humidity varies from over 90% to less than 50%. Temps are mild; today we started out in the low 50s, will likely reach upper 60s F.

Any road, I leave the clay slurry on plaster blocks propped up on 1x1 inch sticks, hence there's air circulating on all sides of the plaster, which helps a bit; also, I leave the doors open when I'm in the studio, as any air movement makes a big difference. When the clay against the plaster is dryer than the clay exposed to air, it's working...

A thorough mix - I use the half inch (big) drill and a paint mixer - where no discernable lumps/blobs remain - is definitely required, imo. Enough water such that the slurry will mix, yes, but no more, for drying will just take that much longer.

I'll use a smidge of Nerd's reclaim mix (eight parts ball clay, one part feldspar, one part silica, if I remember correctly...) in the first go-round, then again a few times later. The result is a bit more plastic, but takes longer to dry.

The drying phase of reclaming can take as much as a week to ten days; on the other end, less than two days, depending on weather, how much time the doors were open, and how wet the slurry was.

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