[Clayart] to re/cycle clay

mel jacobson melpots at mail.com
Wed Jul 14 12:39:42 UTC 2021

Bonnie Hellman is a CPA, she could afford to hire a neighbor kid
to clean her house, studio, garage and re/cycle clay. She does it
herself. Her choice.

Kathi and Mel have systems in place over years to re/cycle their scrap
clay. We make it a part of our pottery.
We re/cycled all our clay at Hopkins High. That was many thousands of pounds
of clay a semester. Kids had all the clay they wanted. They helped re/cycle.
I said many times....I had a limit on the number of pots a kid could make
in a semester. That number was 100. Many kids hit that number.

Last week I re/cycled near 500 lbs of clay in my Walker Pug mill. So, at a
dollar a pound I made $500.  I could have put on a track suit, sneakers and
run every day to Reeve, two miles away. I save those heart beats to make clay.

I add so much stuff to my clay body I could care less if there was a small stone
in the mix.  Hell, I find parts of a model T in my pug mill.

The "voice" of my style, pottery over the years is..."CLAY". My clay body is unique.

Michael has a commercial pottery in Montana. He is an engineer/perfectionist. I admire
him as much as anyone on this list.  He has no time to re/cycle, and his clay has to
be perfect. I agree with him. Do a simple time management study.  He would lose money

I get all the clay I want from Kerry Brooks. As I have mentioned before covid she grossed
about a million dollars a year, 40 employees, making pots and tiles. There is no time
to re/cycle. They put scrap in bags, stack them up. That re/cycled clay does not make
tiles. The loss would be huge.  And, pay an MFA kid 20 bucks an hour to recycle would be
insane.  They throw twenty bags of clay in my car every time I visit her. I do not buy clay.

Think of her dumpster cost if she threw it out. My garbage guy would have a fit if the
can was full of clay.

During covid, Kevin Caufield made restaurant dishes. He also called customers that wanted sets
of dishes and said, "now is the time".  He has made a few thousand pieces. worked alone. no time
to re/cycle.  Just making glaze was daunting.  High end restaurants are now in line for his
dishes. Newspaper articles are appearing..."The new trend, hand made dishes".  Potters around
him did not make pots, they stopped production. He kicked it in the ass.

Tom Wirt used to beg schools to take all his scrap.  "Whooo, we don't want icky clay, ours comes
in clean bags".  (And it has to be pure white.) So, off to the dump.  Or, stuck in the drain.
We all have choices, up to us.

website: www.melpots.com

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