As I have mentioned before, I do recycle my scrap clay. It is amazing how clay, even when totally dry (but not fired) can be reconstituted back into workable clay. I love that! I always have two buckets of slop clay and scraps that sit in water until they break down into slip (watery clay). Once this happens, I empty out the slip onto a large bat for it to start to dry out. As the moisture leaves the clay is turns harder. I let it dry out until it is hard enough to wedge back into workable clay. With this reprocessed clay, I am using it to make tiles. I am trying to make as many tiles as I can with my scrap clay for yet another series of work. When I head home for Thanksgiving I am hoping to put together my first sample piece with my crystalline tiles. Should be pretty exciting. I am going in on this project with my father, who is a skilled carpenter. I will be sure to take pictures of our collaborated work.
First I wedged out the clay and then formed the lumps into these odd rectangles. It was much easier to start rolling them out in this form. I rolled them as evenly as I could until they were about a quarter-inch thick.
Once all of the slabs were rolled out, I cutethe rough edges off to make clean strips. The tiles were then cut 2.25″ x 2.25″. I want them to be about 2″ x 2″ but added the quarter-inch to compensate for the shrinkage that will happen in both the bisque fire and then the glaze fire.
Once all of the tiles were cut I let them dry out a bit with boards laying across the stops of them. This helped weigh down the tiles to ensure that they dry flat. Then when they turned leather heard I went over the edges and corners with a damp sponge to smooth and finish.