Friday, July 31, 2015

Reclaiming Clay

As a potter and as an art teacher, it was inevitable that some day I would discover a box or more of dried up clay.  This summer I wanted to get back into my throwing because I have been so busy with school stuff that I have neglected it.  I used to make a lot of pottery and go to art shows.  I haven't done that in a few years.  Wouldn't you know it, just when I finally get into the mood of getting back into clay, I have discovered brick after brick of dried up clay.  What to do?  Naturally, being the computer geek that I am, I hunted for ideas online.  I knew I didn't want to do the hard work of breaking up that clay and putting it into garbage cans to recycle it.  Eventually, I came across a forum that didn't really help but I saw a comment in the forum, that made me think.  I decided to take the guy's idea because it sounded plausible, and give it a try.  Lo, and behold, I have something that works beautifully and I just have to share it with other art teachers and potters.  If you have a box of dried up clay just follow my directions and you will be pleasantly surprised!

 Take clay out of bag.
 Here is my clay and I must say it is hard as a rock!

Second:  Get a large heavy bath towel and soak it in water.

Third:  Wrap the bath towel around the dry clay.  Yes, I know this is messy!  Then bag it air tight into another plastic bag.  I just used good, strong garbage bags.
Fourth:  Patiently wait one whole week!

Fifth:  Take clay out of bag.  It may be a little softer on the outside but it will be perfect once it is pugged or wedged.
Pug the clay or have your students wedge it as they get it.  Just cut it like you normally would.
Seventh:  Enjoy your freshly pugged clay!
Eighth:  Now go out and throw pots!
This really works and that is why I am sharing it.  Thank you wonderful commenting guy on the Internet somewhere, where every you may be!

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