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Re: Ceramic Lab Fee Question


From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Aug 11 2002 - 15:27:17 PDT

> I
> usually receive $400 dollars to spend on all my classes, three art 1's, three ceramic classes, and now an AP 3-D
> Design class, and this year I am told I won't get that.
> How do you mix your clay from dry? I did it in collage with a pug mill but have no experience with mixing it my
> hand and the health issues are a big concern. How much does it cost you to mix a batch and how much do you
> mix a year?

Good lord, Joe, what a budget! I've always known how fortunate I was to
have such a good one...

Compare the price of 50 lbs. of dry clay (14.85 from Marjon in Phoenix)
with 50 lbs. of bagged (13.14), and you'll see how much you're paying
for water (okay, and having it de-aired, too). By mixing it yourself,
you get a whole lot more clay. I mix it after school, wear a dust mask,
and mix it in stages in five-gallon buckets--several inches of dry
powder, followed by a glug of water, more powder, more water, to nearly
the top of the bucket. The dust doesn't get too bad, and doesn't rise
much above the rim of the bucket this way. Then I cover it with plastic
directly on top of the mound and let it sit several days, checking every
so often to make sure all the powder has been moistened. If it's too
squooshy after several days I spread it thickly on the wedging tables
for a few hours to firm up a little. Child labor provides the rest of
the wedging. I can't begin to guess accurately how much I mix up a
year, probably 100 lbs or more?