Clay and Clay Prep
Welcome to the Kiln Goddess' Clay Pit of Clay ;) Clay is really what it is all about. This moist, slimey, muddy ball of clay is the beginning of journey. So where will your journey take you? Go grab yourself a lump of clay and find out.
Still a work in progress, suggestions and feedback appreciated.
What is Clay?
Clay on Amazon
This is a fabulous book. It explores the history of mankind's relationship with clay from the time man first discovered clay and its many uses. From early mans first use in his fire pits to cook with, to modern high tech uses clay is used today, this book tells the history of man from an interesting perspective.
Wedging is important for two reasons. Firstly, it removes hidden air pockets out of your clay that might if not removed blow up in the kiln. Secondly, it mixes your clay making it homogenous, no drier, stiffer spots and softer, moister spots. Making your clay homogenous makes it easier to work with and lessens the chance of it cracking while drying.
The Portable Wedging Board
Necessity is the mother of invention they say and so I have always found.
My first semester teaching I found myself in need of a wedging surface. The classroom I teach in is a mixed use room and many different arts and crafts are taught in such room. The tables sadly are 8 foot folding table with slick but scarred table tops which I cover with plastic sheeting for class. Wedging and rolling out coils is impossible on such a surface. I needed a portable wedging board of some type.
I decided on canvas wrapped plywood. This will be light, portable and clay won't stick easily to it.
2'x 2' piece of plywood
3'x 3' piece of canvas(12 oz duck or thicker)
heavy duty staple Gun
paint or wood sealer
Seal or paint both sides of your plywood. Let it dry completely. Now place plywood on smoothed canvas and center the wood so there is even amount of canvas on all sides. Now put a one inch fold one side of canvas. Now making sure your one inch fold stays folded, bring the side of canvas up and around the plywood. Staple thru the fold the entire length of the canvas wrapped side. Now do the same steps to the opposite side but pulling the canvas taunt before stapling. Do the same with the 2 remaining sides. Be generous with the staples. As an optional step you could add a rope handle by taking a short length of rope and knotting both ends and stapling it to the back side of your new wedging board.
Build Your Own Wedging Surface
Clay Never Goes Bad
Reclaim and Recycle
As long as your clay has not been fired or had contaminants introduced to it you can reuse your clay scraps and clay slurry to make more clay.
Reclaiming is low tech and you do not need anything more than a bucket and an old pillowcase to recycle on a small scale. Larger scale recycling can be done with a clay mixer and/or pugger but for the hobbiest or the clay artist just getting established, they are quite expensive items.
Recycling Your Clay
Making Your Own Clay
- Making Your Own Clay
The Kiln Goddess' lens about making your own clay from bought and dug ingredients.
Great Clay Books on Amazon
Great book. Lots of info. More than you need know.
Wow. So much info. You will never get to try everything.
- Laguna Clay Company
Clay and glaze manufacturer in California
- Highwater Clays
Manufacturer of high-quality clays located in Asheville, North Carolina.
- AMACO Clays
American Art Clay Company
- Standard Ceramic Supply Company
Makers of Standard Brand clays
- Minnesota Clay Company
Clay manufacturer located in Minnesota.
Clay on Amazon
I welcome your feedback. Would you like something added? Know a good link or book? Did I manage to misspell something? Did you find a dead link? Let me know, afterall this Kiln Goddess isn't all knowing ;-)