Throwing Thursday - Recovering Clay

Throwing clay takes a lot of practice.  That means that many more pieces get made than actually get fired.  In fact up to this point, I have not even turned on the kiln.  I've turned about 30 pots so far and each one has ended back up in the recycle bin.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Recycling clay is a pretty easy process.  After turning a lump and either creating a pot or creating a failure, the best thing to do is let the piece get to bone dry and just toss it in water.  Clay actually will revert faster if it's bone dry than if it has any water in it at all.

Here I have a tub with water in it.  I drop the bone dry pieces in the tub until they revert.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Depending on how dry the clay is, the clay will slowly dissolve back to it's smooth state. Below you can see the clay pots have broken down and have settled to the bottom of the tub.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson
After enough clay has accumulated in the tub, it can then be poured out on to a a surface to allow the water to evaporate out.  A wooden board or a plaster board can be used to dry the clay.  When the clay is workable, slowly wedge the clay back into a lump and store it in an airtight container.  

Here's a video that outlines the process.

More clay pots coming... 

Renee Olson

Wife, Witch with the Metal Skills of a Dark Elf. I spend my time working with wire, weaving life and magic.

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