Demonstrations

How to recycle clay. >>>

Archived Demos
How to recycle clay.

How to build a mesh screen
to recycle clay.
How to recycle clay.
Sometimes clay projects don't come out the way you expect or
they dry too fast or crack. Left over clay can easily be recycled,
then reused. Here is how
we do it.
  • Let the clay dry out completely.
  • Use can use regular five gallon buckets to collect the clay
    while it drys.
  • Use a large plastic mixing tub to spread out the clay and use
    a hammer to bust up the clay in to small pieces. See
    example to the left. You can purchase it at any hardware
    store.
  • We built a small wood frame (18x18 out of 1x3 wood) and
    attached metal wire (1/4 inches holes) to the frame using
    staples to create a screen to filter the clay. Diagram here.
  • Once the clay is busted up filter it through the mesh screen
    by dumping handfuls (scoops or bowlfuls) into the mesh
    screen. Shake it and throw the large balls of clay into a
    different bucket. Keep smashing and filtering until all the
    clay is separated.
  • Use this method to go through all the clay to be recycled.
    You can smash all the clay to dust size or set aside the
    'rocks' (the larger or harder pieces.)
  • If you set aside the 'rocks' place them into a five gallon
    bucket and fill to above the clay line with water. (Hot water
    seems to make the clay soft faster.) You will need to let this
    bucket set overnight or up to a few days, depending on how
    much and how big your clay chunks are.
  • NOTE: You may choose to use only the clay dust to
    recycle the clay. This means more clay smashing, but a
    smoother finished product.
  • When you are ready to mix the clay, make a large pile of
    dry clay (dust) and hand scoop the wet (soaked) clay in to
    the middle. Get a few students to help you and mix the clay
    (kneading it like bread) until it is smooth. The more you mix
    the better the finished product will be.
  • Put the clay in thick plastic bays and let set for a few days
    before using. Remember to wedge recycled clay really well.


Mixing Tub for
smashing clay.


1/4 Inch Mesh
Long Hardware
Cloth.
More demonstrations to
follow...
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