Today’s entertainment was setting my kiln off for my fourth ever biscuit firing, and finishing my first batch of clay recycling… A week ago I slaked the dry scraps of waste clay I have been collecting in a bin full of water. Then, after soaking for a couple of days, I scraped the soggy mix into two old pillowcases and hung them up, so that the excess water could drain into buckets. (I don’t have room in my studio for a plaster slab so this was an alternative that had been suggested to me.) After a couple of days, in the incredible sunshine that we’ve been having, the clay was at a suitable consistency for wedging. So, for three hours today I’ve been building up my biceps and learning how to wedge properly – to make the clay an even stiffness throughout without any air bubbles – and ready for throwing again.

I found four techniques:
the cut and slap (what we used to do at school, but I find it’s easy to add more air than remove)
the cylinder or ram’s head (what I tried today)
the cone
the spiral or shell (a traditional Japanese method)

At the end of it I have stiff arms and 25kgs of clay ready for throwing again.


10 thoughts on “Recycle

  1. excellent! I learnt how to reclaim my clay (which has been building up under my desk for several months) just yesterday and produced a whole load of it to my great surprise – must be a celestially aligned clay recycling week 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s