A sharing of ideas, techniques, successes and failures in the volatile world of pottery and family life.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Where was I?

Oh, yeah.  Reclaiming.  Right.

Sorry but it's been a little crazy around here and my pottery is suffering for it.  I got into the studio on Mother's Day.  That's 2 weeks without a mud fix!  I don't know if I can manage much longer without some therapy.  (heavy sigh, drumming fingers anxiously)

Our used car lot will be opening June 1 and we still don't have our dealers license.  It's no wonder our country can't get it's head out of it's butt when the amount of paper (in our "paperless" society) we have to slog through to get the simplest things done (like an address change) creates such a mire that I just want to drive to Trenton and bang on someones head.  Sorry but it's making me a little crazy.  8D

Deep breath.  Back to some mental therapy, if not actual therapy.

Muddy Mud

The edges are pulling up.  Time to flip it.
Now it's time to make the clay.  The mud gets scooped out and spread evenly on the plaster boards to dry out a bit.  I usually spread it about a half inch thick.   Replace the lid on the bucket if you have enough for another round.

Depending on the humidity this step can take any where from one to three days.  This stage needs to be monitored closely or you'll end up RE-reclaiming if it gets too dry.


When the edges of the slab start pulling up from the board it's time to flip it over and dry it a little more.  I use a large plastic dry wall knife to help pry it off the board.

When the texture is like new clay it's ready for wedging and maybe a little Happy Dance!

Now, get reclaiming!  I feel better just writing about it!

Me?  I'm off to paint the sign for the new shop.  Stay tuned for some great before and after photos.  =D


  1. I like to use a med thick terri towel to reclaim. Keeps the edges from drying out and makes it easy to flip, pound and roll while waiting for it to be right consistency.

    1. Hmmm... Interesting idea, Amy. I've covered it with plastic in the winter when it's dry here (NJ). I can see how a towel would even out the drying but doesn't the terry get stuck in the clay? Would a tea towel or smoother fabric work as well?

      Thanks for sharing your technique. I'm learning something new every day!

  2. I didn't have a problem with the clay sticking in the towel until about the 4 TH time.. just washed it out and started fresh.. I don't see why not on the linen towel.. if you try it.. post results.. I may try later myself.

  3. We roll the clay slab into a sausage when the one side is dried enough to flip it. That way you introduce the dryer and wetter clay to each other, and it kinda evens out in moisture. (if it is a hot dry day, covered lightly, if moggy and cool, leave as it is.) Next day it gets wedged ...