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Re: Woody & Restoring Hard Clay...


From: Christa Wise (cwise_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jun 03 2004 - 13:03:14 PDT

Hey, don't throw it out. It isn't that hard to "recondition."

I had two 55 gallon trash cans full of watery scrap clay just building up.
I showed my beginning students how to dry it out on plaster bats and then
to wedge it. I told them we needed to use up all the old clay before
opening any new bags. The result: They all had a better "feel" for the
clay. They built bigger, taller pieces, and were able to understand how to
control and maintain moist clay somewhat "intuitively." I think it was the
experience of reconditioning the clay.

Last week, someone wanted to work with long gone white clay. We had a 25
lb. block that was rock hard. She put it in a bucket with water and the
NEXT day it was soft, too soft. She dried it out, conditioned it and built
a fabulous pot.

Plus, can anyone out there back this up, "aged" clay "works" better,
doesn't it?