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Lesson Plans

Re: Recycling clay

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Wed, 5 May 1999 19:44:47 EDT

I can't imagine throwing away good clay. I recycle by putting all scraps,
unclaimed greenware, or broken greenware into 5 gallon buckets with water. I
let sit as long as several weeks and when everything is soft and slip-like, I
pour off the excess water and "pour" and scoop the slip into a mound on one
of the plaster wedging boards. Overnight, the clay is ready to be wedged
and re-baged. It takes a little effort, but I find wedging clay to be
therapeutic and I find the "recycled" clay to be easier to work with and
better overall than the assortment of clays that go into the bucket. I also
get a good feeling reusing the waste and I enjoy playing around with various
mixtures of clays. I often add quantities of local clay which by itself is
good for making bricks, but lacks the plasticity for modeling or other
ingredients like grog, bentonite, iron oxide, or whatever is available for

Bill R
Souhegan HS

Odd lots of glaze get recycled the same way. I have a gallon jug called
"Scrap Glaze" which gets all the left over glazes. It changes from week to
week depending on the additions, but for glazing the insides of jugs, or ware
that just needs a glaze it's the most beautiful and unique of all our glazes.

Next year, finally, after 30 years of teaching ceramics, I have had approved
the monies to purchase a pug mill. Yes, it will be easier, but I think I
will miss the physical connection to the remaking of clay.