[Clayart] Reclaiming 30 lbs of clay

kathi at lesueurclaywork.com kathi at lesueurclaywork.com
Thu Jul 15 12:38:38 UTC 2021

I had a friend who gave away her pugmill because a professor told her reclaiming scrap was a waste of time. I was appalled. Especially since it was a Bluebird and she could have extruded with it. I get my clay 5000# at a time. It sits for months. Every bit of it goes through my pugmill straight from the bag. Usually with that reclaimed scrap.  Doing that has saved my wrists. I know buying a pugmill is a big investment. But, it you are making pots full time. I bought my Bluebird Powerstar in 1990. Since then, the only repair has been the off/on switch which was overheating. I used to go through 10,000# of clay a year. I can’t imagine trying to process the scrap without that pugmill. I would have thrown away 21,000# of clay, at least, in that time. Almost $10,000 worth of clay at $.46 a pound.
Kathi LeSueur

Sent from my iPad

> On Jul 15, 2021, at 7:18 AM, vpitelka at dtccom.net wrote:
> Paul wrote:
> "Glad to hear someone with the courage to tell the truth!"
> The truth?  What an odd thing to say in this situation.  Whose truth?  Not to discount Michal Wendt's courage, because he certainly has plenty, but that has nothing to do with this situation.  Reclaiming scrap is right for some people, especially if they have a pugmill.  In certain circumstances it does make more sense to throw away the scrap, but only if reclaiming it is impractical.  
> As is so often the case, this is an individual thing, and broad generalizations do not work.  Some people get great satisfaction from reclaiming their scrap.  For many people, it is painful to throw away something that can be reclaimed. 
> - Vince
> Vince Pitelka
> Potter, Writer, Teacher
> Chapel Hill, NC
> vpitelka at dtccom.net
> www.vincepitelka.com 
> https://chathamartistsguild.org/ 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Clayart <clayart-bounces at lists.clayartworld.com> On Behalf Of paul gerhold
> Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2021 5:03 PM
> To: Michael Wendt <mwendt at wendtpottery.com>; Clayart international pottery discussion forum <clayart at lists.clayartworld.com>
> Subject: Re: [Clayart] Reclaiming 30 lbs of clay
> Michael,
> Glad to hear someone with the courage to tell the truth!  
> Paul
> Sent from my iPad
>> On Jul 13, 2021, at 4:52 PM, Michael Wendt <mwendt at wendtpottery.com> wrote:
>> Hi Bonnie
>> I am a heretic, I know, but I would throw the clay away and buy new, fresh clay since the time we spend trying to capture and re-use scrap is a lot of work. I am set up with screening equipment, a 15 HP 2200 LB/Hr vacuum de-airing pug mill, a giant ribbon mixer for batching plus a 50 LB/batch de-airing ribbon mixer and I still toss scrap because it invariably has picked up debris which causes defects.
>> One or two perfect pots will pay for a lot of fresh new clay.
>> Your time is better spent throwing, decorating and firing wares.
>> Regards,
>> Michael Wendt
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Bonnie Hellman" 
>> <mou10ms at gmail.com>
>> To: "Clayart international pottery discussion forum" 
>> <clayart at lists.clayartworld.com>
>> Sent: Saturday, July 10, 2021 9:01 AM
>> Subject: [Clayart] Reclaiming 30 lbs of clay
>>> I have about 30 pounds of clay in various states of wetness/dryness 
>>> that I want to reconstitute for throwing. (I thoroughly  cleaned out 
>>> my Peter Pugger after several years because the clay in the barrel 
>>> was to dry to be
>>> extruded.)
>>> Some is hard as bisque, although none was fired. Other pieces are wet 
>>> and sloppy.
>>> Would you dry out everything and then wet it? Would you put it in a 
>>> lot of water?
>>> It's been a long time since I've had this much scrap.
>>> Thanks for sharing your experience,
>>> Bonnie
>>> --
>>> Bonnie D. Hellman
>>> PO Box 1210
>>> Ouray, CO 81427
>>> mou10ms at gmail.com <mou10ms at gmail.com>
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