Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Recycling Clay

This is the beginning of what I hope to become a collection of insights into what happens on an average day in the Pottery Studio. I hope you enjoy!

Izac (an Aussie friend visiting) came in yesterday to find out a bit more about what happens in the studio and ended up recycling a whole lot of clay. He couldn't help but break the clay pieces with true percussionist beat and a hammer in each hand. I think it is so wonderful that broken greenware can be salvaged and given a 2nd chance. It is also excellent to see JustPotters working hard to minimise waste in all areas. For anyone not familiar with the process:


1. Broken greenware* is collected in bags according to clay colour
2. Once fully dry, broken pieces are broken down even further into small shards and fine dust using a hammer (or two)
3. Broken clay pieces are placed in a large bucket and water and a little vinegar is added
4. Clay mixture is mixed thoroughly with a paint stirrer type attatchment on a drill until mixture is smooth (sometimes it's necessary to get your hands pretty dirty to confirm this...)
5. Slushy clay mud is then poured into a plaster batt lined with a cloth (allowing water to evaporate) and left to sit and harden for 1-2 weeks depending on the weather.
6. Clay is bagged and labelled and can be used to create new pieces!

*Greenware I understand (and please correct me if I'm wrong) is ceramic ware or clay that has not yet been fired.


Izac loved the slurping sound the mud made when mixing. It's a little like making a cake really, the ultimate mud pie!

1 comment:

  1. Breaking up clay like this without a dust mask is a ticket to major health problems.