How to Extend the Usability of Clay

One Methods:To rehydrate clay

Working with clay can be some tedious work and there is a lot of failure involved for every successful piece that you make. So usually it helps to reuse your clay and thus get more bang for your buck with your clay. This should help.


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    Remove excess moisture or water. If you have wet clay from using it on a pottery wheel or because you got it too wet, then you first try to drain out any water from the clay. Sometimes if you squish it the water comes out so that it's more usable.
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    Make a large slab of plaster. Once it dries, you can use it to remove excess moisture from clay so that you can use it over and over.

To rehydrate clay

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    Feel the clay. How dry is it? If it's really dry (like at the leather stage where it's about the consistency of hard cheese) then you're going to need to approach it differently as apposed to something that's mildly dry.
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    Knead water into mildly dry clay. If your clay is mildly dry, just work some water into it by kneading it like dough. Usually that makes any semi-dried clay that you used before into nice usable clay.
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    Dampen and let extremely dry clay sit. If your clay is really bad and leather hard, then you should coat it with water all over and cover it in a very thoroughly soaked towel or paper towel. Let the clay sit there for a bit before you try to work some water into it.


  • If you're taking the moisture out of clay simply by squishing it out, then you should only try it on semi-soaked small pieces of clay. It becomes very hard to handle keeping even pressure on giant pieces of clay, and if there's too much water (as in close to becoming slip) then you should probably use plaster.
  • If you're rehydrating clay from the leather stage, then you should break it into pieces if possible. The smaller the pieces, the faster they rehydrate.
  • When you're making a plaster slab, make it thick but mostly make it as wide as you can. More surface area means more space to put wet clay on.


  • Don't soak clay in water while rehydrating it. Usually the end result of that is clay where the outside is slip, but the inside is hard.
  • Don't break up any clay too small. trying to re hydrate tiny little pieces of clay is not very fun or very easy, and commonly doesn't end well at all.
  • Be careful to make sure that the plaster is fully dry before you put any wet clay on it. Wet clay and wet plaster are a disastrous combination.

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Categories: Clay Projects | Making Clay