Intro to Recycling Clay
You can recycle clay, or reclaim clay, so it can be used again. Many potters keep their non contaminated (21) clay scraps from trimming, broken greenware, or old throwing slurry (3) to recycle and reuse. As long as clay has not been fired it can be recycled (10, 21). It can be a time consuming process (2), physically demanding and take up a lot of space (14) but it doesn’t have to be an unreasonable amount of work (3). Plus, recycled clay is clay that you don’t have to buy! As the old saying goes, there are about as many ways to recycle clay as there are potters. Many variations are presented below. Find the process that suits your situation the best. Of course, if you have a pugmill, recycling clay can be a lot easier (20).
The most notable hazard with recycling clay is breathing clay dust from dry clay (11). To be safe, wear a good quality respirator mask and eye protection (14).