Unearthing Clay

Ingredients & Supplies

Begin with one clean vessel with enough room to hold the desired amount of raw clay covered by one inch of water. Mix the clay with the water using mashing motions, then proceed to stir as the solution loosens. Using circular motions, continue to mix until the solution of water and clay is thoroughly diluted into a homogeneous slip.

Prepare the second clean vessel and straining device in such a way that any liquid entering from the first vessel to the second must first pass through the strainer. Strain contents from vessel one into vessel two.

Take notice of what is in your strainer, small sand and grit may be useful tempers. Continue until no organic or synthetic matter remains in the slip solution. Discard, or compost, any organic matter.

Place vessel two with the homogenous slip solution in a warm environment or alternatively, in the sun with no covering. Leaving the solution undisturbed for 24 to 48 hours will ensure it reduces properly. If the clay slip has not reduced,gently stir with a clean stick and leave again to reduce in heat. After the allotted time, the solution should have been reduced to nearly half its size, and the remaining product will be a sustainably-processed, usable clay.

Remove from the vessel and store in a cool, dry place. Alternatively, spread clay evenly on a large, non-porous tray, place in the sun and allowed to fully dehydrate before crushing into a powder for easy storage.