Monday, March 15, 2010

clay!

It's spring break here so I can finally catch up on some things. I'll be mixing clay, glaze and bisquing for the students as well as a little spring cleaning around the classroom. I'm fairly intolerant of messes left in my classroom but I've been so busy that I've not stayed on top of them like I should. The extra classes I'm teaching are requiring so much of my time that the classes that I'm here to primarily teach are suffering. A good friend of mine is here doing some clay work in the classroom and he's helped to pick up some of the slack this semester for which I'm grateful.

I just pulled a batch of clay out of the drying racks, about 550# and I'm about to mix another batch. I don't think I'll get back to the wheel anytime soon but I want everything there and ready to go for when that time comes. It's been a month and a half since I've made any new work...too long for me. I don't like it when my racks are empty.


I've been trying to sell the idea of blunging clay for a few years now. The only downside I've found is that the clay doesn't all dry at the same rate. If you have a pugmill this is no problem, I don't have one so I have to cut and slap(the real wedging) all the clay that comes out of the batch to homogenize it. The clay will be fairly stiff on the edge and super wet 3 inches away. I wonder if this is less of a problem in a more humid location? I keep my racks out of the sun but dry Texas heat... Anyways, still faster than mixing and far better clay.

Clay right out of the rack...


550#...after cutting and slapping. Most of these blocks are in the 40-50# range. You're never really lifting the whole piece up at once so it's easy and a time saver to do a large block at once.


Well, I'll be having an etsy sale this week, new pots...lots of mugs and yunomi. If you would like to see anything else on there feel free to request it.

Cheers!

2 comments:

Kevin said...

I'm am starting a basement studio right now and cast a box made out of plaster to dry my slop clay. I have heard of studios drying out their clay on a plaster wedging table for a few days so I figured this large box might work. It is four inches thick on all sides with a cavity just large enough to fit two 5-Gallon buckets of slop inside. Haven't been able to try it out yet but do you have any idea of the success rate I'll have? I ask because you mentioned this term: "blunging". I don't know what this is or means but maybe it is what I'm planning on doing to reclaim clay.

brandon phillips said...

kevin-

your method should work just fine. here is an old post on how i mix my clay. http://supportyourlocalpotter.blogspot.com/2009/09/kickin-it-old-school.html

good luck!