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Hard Clay

Hard Clay

Postby Sonja » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:41 am

I have had some experience with hard clay! You CAN reconstitute it. You treat it differently depending on how hard it is. If it is rock hard and you can't poke holes in it, lay the block on its side, soak a large sponge with water and lay it on top of the block. Let it sit for several days, turning the block (keep the sponge on top) each day and adding water to the sponge as needed. If it is still malleable, poke holes in it with an ice pick, or anything else you have, and fill the holes with water. Try to plug the holes with clay, then let it sit. You will probably have to do this several times, turning the block and poking holes in the different sides.
Laurie Farthing


The plastic bags the clay comes in are not too bad.. but the clay can harden on ya if it sits around for a long time.. Some people store clay in their original plastic bags , then put those inside garbage cans inside a trash can with a good lid... Spritz down with water every so often .

If it is just sorta stiff, ( not really dry .. but just too stiff to work with easily ) take it outside and drop it on a hard surface several times , dropping it on a different side each time. This sets the clay particles in motion and will make stiff clay very workable. Its amazing how good this works.

If its starting to dry , you can poke holes in it with a screwdriver and then spray with water...seal in a plastic bag or a large bucket with a tight fitting lid... ( I get nice buckets from the local donut shop cheap ) and keep adding water until it is workable... ( too much water will turn it to mush on top which is OK cos you can wedge it on a piece of plasterboard to get out the excess water but its messy ... )

If it is completely dry , its easier to break it all up in to very small pieces with a hammer, pour into a bucket, cover with water and let it slake . Then pour off the excess water and pour the clay into an old pillowcase or into the leg of an old pair of jeans ( sewn shut at the bottom ) and hang it up so that the excess water can drip out...

When its a workable consistency , wedge it.. or you can lay out handfuls of the sludge onto a plaster slab and gently scrape it off the slab as the bottom stiffens until it is all a workable consistency , then wedge... and store in a good, tightly covered plastic container.. ( again , the buckets from the local donut shops are really good... our shop sells nice big ones for 2 bucks each and they will hold a 25 pound block of clay . I pull out enough of it to fill up a Tupperware large cannister , which is what I actually work from .. but then keep the rest of the clay from the bag in the donut store bucket till I need it ) .. I also have a smaller Tupperware container for reconstituting scraps.

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