Monday, October 20, 2008

Clay Recycling

When we make things out of clay we get slop, dry trimmings, and more than needs a little processing before being used again. If I didn't recycle it I'd have to pay to get rid of it. I'm limited on space and don't want to spend a lot of time recycling as that would make the clay more expensive than it's worth. So I've developed a system that works for me and my 20+ students. We save all slop, and all dry trimmings. Slops goes in 5 gal buckets. Trimming are left fluffy and allowed to get bone dry in bisqued pots.



Then they are combined, left to sit a few hours, then stirred with a paddle, left to sit a little longer and water is decanted off the top, using a 24 oz ladel. Then about 10 ladles full are scooped into a trug (a flexible bucket with handles). I add an 1/8 cup of bleach, stir again. Because the trug is flexible it's squashed into a giant pouring spout and poured into a waiting canvas bag, suspended open by its handles from big hooks.


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These are on a makeshift sawhorse. The canvas bag are closed tightly by bungy cords. They bags are moved down the line to smaller "s" hooks.

They will remain hanging like this until they feel firm enough to open up and pull the clay from the bag without it sticking to the sides. It is an art knowing just the right time.

4 comments:

fetishghost said...

Great Blog! Post More....

Graciela Testa Lynt said...

Wow! Great system! And very informative... I could also use some more recycling tips!

Sarah said...

The first studio I learned in only recycled clay / used recycled clay. So much more plastic - so much better! I didn't even know clay was sold "by the bag" at that time. I have such a hard time with "new" clay :)

CreativewithClay: Charan Sachar said...

Thanks for sharing this. You have a great system.