Well the summer is finally here... or was! Now writing this on the only day it has rained in days! But over the last week or so I have been arms deep in clay and toes! Recycling the growing barrel of trimmings and worshoppers practice pots that has been sat in my studio for months groaning by the sheer weight of mud and abandonment on my part. It's a job i've been putting of for way too long! But I have to say it has been a huge amount of fun.
My Guide to reclaiming the mud
My recycling methods are pretty primitive to say the least, I'm saving for a pugmill in my imaginary extra saving pot. But in the mean time my tools are;
- Old Pillow Case
- Two rubber buckets
- Tap water
- White vinegar
- Wooden boards
- Huge quantities of the Sun
- Power Drill & Paddle Bit
- Two pea size guns
The process is fairly easy;
Stage 1: Have a big rubber tub of clay with a polite message to everyone to chuck their slops, trimmings in.
Stage 2: Let it sit for days and try not to catch its eye! No don't do this! Recycling regularly is a much better idea!
Stage 2: Cover the dry clay scraps in water and a little white vinegar - Helps the clay remain nice and sticky and stretchy, the acidity in the vinegar helps break down the clay a bit and makes the studio smell like a chip shop, especially when the kilns on.
Stage 3: Remove the resting water that separates from the clay and get your guns on a Powerdrill make sure it is powerful enough (500w) is good enough and you have a solid paddle Bit to get in amongst all the clay.
Stage 4: Make two holes in the top of your pillow case, thread through soft rope so that you have something long enough to hang, or make a pully from. Fill the pillow case half way up with the sloppy clay. Hang pillow case up so that the water drains out, I use a rubber tub and have suspended my pillow case from my old Kick Wheel which weighs a tonne - You will need a strong ceiling or something that can take the dead weight of the clay for a long duration. Depending on how warm your studio is the water will take prob about 4-6 days to get most of the moisture out. The clay will still be very wet and sticky but by then most of the extra water will have reduced out through the pillow case.