When I taught ceramics here is what I did. I had every kid bring in an empty
spackle bucket (or you can get 'lard' buckets at the bakery free). Each kid
put in a garbage bag into their bucket. Their buckets were decorated outside
to indicate it was theirs (and in most cases they shared). They were given x
amount of clay as 'theirs', which they placed inside the plastic bag, and
the bag was kept shut, and the lid kept on the bucket. I then taught them
how to keep their clay moist, recycle their scraps, and condition their
clay. End of story. All I had to do was monitor their clay useage. I also
feel that this shows kids what a ceramic studio is like, and what a potter
When I taught Crafts (and clay was just a component of the class). Each
table of 4-6 shared 1 spackle bucket.
As someone who once considered pottery as my 'thing' (and am now a jack of
all trades), I react to making recycling clay a 'punishment'..no part of art
making is a punishment, it is part of the process.