I just got home from a trip to the city to get more clay. My husband and I go in the big F250 pick up to get 600 lbs. of clay twice a year. It's about a 140 mile round trip. I buy commercially prepared clays, in white, chocolate brown and tan with speckles. Standard Clay 112, 266, 181, and 378. That won't really make any sense to anyone but another clay person but those are kinds of stoneware clay I use. I usually throw in the 2-3 lb lump of clay range for the kinds of things I make. Sometimes less, sometimes more. I don't try to thrown over 5 lbs. It really works on the back and shoulders. When I hand build, I use a slab roller or rolling pin and can handle larger quantities. This 600 lbs will last about 6 months.
That's including all the scraps I reclaim which will turn into a dark tan with brown streaks. All the trimmings, throwing mishaps, things that didn't dry properly and cracked. I just toss it all in a 5 gallon bucket with water and when I have about half the bucket full, I turn it all out onto newspaper to dry out. As long as it hasn't been fired, it can be recycled into new clay. I call it my sludge clay.
Here's some work that's almost dry and ready to in the kiln to bisque fire. At this stage it's called green ware and is very brittle. Sometimes the ride down to the kiln is, well, not successful. But mostly everything makes it!
|Tea bag spoon rest squares rolled out and stamped|
|A new "Dream Pot" in the making|
|Yarn bowls and lidded jars|
|A new magnolia before firing|