I am sure Marvin has some recycling ideas on his website but here is what I
do. I dumped all the cracked vases into 2 large dishpans, filled them with
water just enough to cover and let them sit out until they made mush(about 3
days). After school I grab handfuls of it and plop it onto a big sheet of
thick vinyl that I lay on the floor. I bought the vinyl at a garage sale
but you could also use canvas or even a thick vinyl tablecloth. It looks
like a cow has come into my room and left many souveneirs. Then I put the
vinyl in front of my box fan that I have in my room because it is always so
hot. I babysit each lump until it is dry enough to wedge but not too dry.
I then wedge each lump and put them back into a big double thick plastic
bag. Voila! Ready to go again! It's a lot of work but necessary
sometimes. And after all that plopping and wedging you don't have to go to
the gym that day! So, I guess I do it pretty much like your college
teacher but I keep it compact into the dishpans until I'm ready to deal with
it and then do it all in one afternoon so that I don't have to use a table
or space I don't have. If you are particularly busy you can keep adding
water to the dishpans as it evaporates until you have a day you can deal
PS This is only for firing clay --air dry clay does not recycle ----at
least I don't know how to recycle it - does anyone else??
From: Gayle Parent [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2008 11:34 AM
To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group
Subject: Re: [teacherartexchange] air dry clay
Cindy, you just mentioned recycling the clay. I am a new art teacher
and I'm not sure what that means. Do you mean you went through the
whole process of rewetting, then spreading the wet clay on a table,
then rewedging it? I remember seeing my college art teacher do that
(small department), but she had canvas covered tables for that
purpose. If I cover a table with canvas, then it will be somewhat
difficult to use it for other purposes, so I'm a little reluctant to
do that. What is your process for recycling the clay?
On Apr 19, 2008, at 5:39 PM, familyerickson wrote:
> Amaco comes in white, gray or terracotta which are nice choices
> depending on
> what you are doing.
> 1/2 inch thick doesn't sound too thin to me. More likely the
> piece just
> dried too quickly or dried unevenly. Try drying them all more
> slowly by
> placing wet paper towels on top of each and then laying a large
> trash bag
> over the whole table or shelf full. This seems to slow the drying
> a little. If I am being really careful I will rewet the paper
> towels the
> next day by spraying them all with a spritz bottle. Each day I
> spritz a
> little less and make them dry out over a weeks time. When we do
> animals I
> wrap small appendages with wet paper towels and try to dry them
> more slowly
> than the body of the piece. This seems to help although I
> have tails break off etc. Another teacher recommended Gorilla
> Glue for
> glueing on pieces after they have been fired and it worked well for
> my fired
> pieces. I have never tried it with air dried pieces. E6000 works
> good too
> but it's so messy and tends to dry out in the tube, at least for
> me. I
> like model magic too but I agree with you about the details--it's
> hard to get details and it dries out a little too fast for my
> liking. Cool
> tip about the elmers for slip though.
> I always have good luck with my 2nd grade pocket vases (using fired
> but this year I had 60 2nd graders make them and I left them out
> to dry and
> that night some weird front came through and the temperature
> dropped 30
> degrees and for the first time ever almost half of the vases
> cracked so we
> had to recycle all the clay and start over.
> Maybe you have some weird weather? Global warming????
> -----Original Message-----
> From: marcia [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2008 11:17 AM
> To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group
> Subject: re:[teacherartexchange] air dry clay
> Thanks for your suggestions. I have used model magic
> before but I find for certain things it doesn't show
> details as well. I have not tried Amaco air dry clay
> so I will give it a shot.
> We were making small African mask models and we used
> different types of air dry clay and almost all of them
> cracked in half. They were about 1/2 inch thick,
> which may have been too thin? I've also just tried
> using the clay to make animal figurines, with those
> cracking as well.
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