If you run a community studio or your personal studio is high production, you probably have a lot of clay scraps to deal with. This article will describe the clay reclaim process we use at the very busy pottery studio where I worked as technician for 6 years.
There’s a common belief in ceramics that leaving pockets of air in your clay, either due to insufficient wedging or by creating an enclosed form, leads to explosions in the kiln. The belief is often communicated in these ways: “Poorly wedged clay containing air bubbles will explode…”
As clay artists, we’re so lucky that we can reduce the amount of waste we produce by reclaiming or recycling our unfired clay. When we make something that cracks, warps or doesn’t look how we wanted it to, we can reclaim our clay, bringing it back to its original state so…
If you have too much clay in a glaze recipe, you might have issues with your glaze crawling during the firing. Crawling is where the glaze pulls away from the clay body due to a combination of shrinkage, poor adhesion and high surface tension.
Most of our glaze materials come to us in their very basic, unprocessed form. They are dug out of the ground, impurities may or may not be removed, they are ground into a fine powder, bagged and shipped to our suppliers. Working with these minerals in their raw state poses some health risks.