•The secret to cool bodies and glazes is a lot of testing.
•The secret to know what to test is material and chemistry knowledge.
•The secret to learning from testing is documentation.
•The place to test, do the chemistry and document is an account at https://insight-live.com
•The place to get the knowledge is https://digitalfire.com

Sign-up at https://insight-live.com today.

Recylcing Scrap Clay

Section: Clay Bodies, Subsection: General


Guidelines for collecting, reprocessing, testing and adjusting scrap recycle clay in a pottery or ceramics studio or production facility.

Article Text

In a production situation, procedures and equipment are generally in place to incorporate a percentage of scrap into fresh clay mixes or to use it for certain types of production. Let us then take on the other challenge: the art center or studio.

Collecting Scrap

Testing the Batch

If you have more than one scrap batch on hand and their descriptions show that they have complementary pluses and minuses in their properties, you can mix them.

Dewatering the Batch

This is not simple. For large batches a large plaster table is required. Having the thickest possible slurry reduces the demand on the table. Another method is to pour the slurry onto a canvas stretched over a wooden or metal frame and cover it with another canvas.


Dealing with scrap can be a dustry process so wear a mask when needed. A large mixer can be dangerous to use, be careful.

Supercharge the plasticity of cone 6 reclaimed clay

Show on Post Page

If your reclaim is short and non-plastic you can make it better-than-new by using an additive of 50% ball clay and 50% bentonite. While only a few percent bentonite supercharges the plasticity of any clay body it is almost impossible to get it to mix into a wet slurry or plastic clay. But thoroughly shaking it together with ball clay (in a plastic bag) separates the super-tiny particles of bentonite between the almost-as-tiny particles of ball clay, that new powder will easily mix with water. And it fires to a tan-buff stoneware at cone 6 so it won't change the fired appearance of most buff or brown cone 6 stoneware bodies. There is one downside: I can leave a scum on your plaster batt if your bentonite is high in soluble salts, so test on a small bat first. Or dewater by another method. Or use a dedicated batt whose surface you can scrape periodically.

Out Bound Links

By Tony Hansen

Feedback, Suggestions

Your email address


Your Name


Copyright 2003, 2008, 2015 https://digitalfire.com, All Rights Reserved