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question on clay Answered

Recently I descovered my property has a lot of clay soil deposits, with that said how would I use that to make clay jars,pots,cruiclibles? And I have lots od sand, so exactly I know you mix the soil, sand and water but I dont know in what order or fashion so some websites might help. with this I am planning to make a clay crucible for forging, and an oven while I'm at it. Thanks



 If you have clay like mine with chunks in it that won't soften even when you wet it you can get a cheap $6 food processor and blend it up, it comes out perfect!

All this also depends on the type of clay you have. If you live in the South, you likely have kaolinitic clay, which will work with your projects. If, however, you live in the Midwest, like me, you likely have what's called smectitic clay, and that is not suitable for clay projects, as it expands and shrinks with water content change. Find out if the soil "cracks" when dried out for a few days/weeks. If it does, then its likely smectitic.

You could dry it out, just leave it in the sun for a few days and then crush it up, and screen it to remove most of the sand and then you can wet it down until it the right consistency for you work it into what ever you want, then fire it, small clay objects can be tossed into a fire until the glow a soft orange larger items need a larger fire or kiln.... But I'd try just doing a few disks and firing them to see how they turn out before going all out and doing a large project.....And you could try firing some clay from the ground and see how it turns out.... ((( normally its a good idea to shape it and let it dry out a but for a day or two and then firing it ))) And if you firing it in a fire it's also a good idea to wrap it in some thing like dry grass or straw so it has a small amount if padding when you put it in the fire (( and I know how this sounds but dry cow dung burns at the perfect temp for doing this ))

For the clay to hold well, I would think that if sand is needed, it would have to be very fine grained, maybe even powdered. That is, since this is not going to be as coarse as concrete (which gets a portion of sand mixed with it), at least, not for pots and such.

I remember being able to somehow wash the sand out, but I can't remember exactly how

Well, a fine wire mesh, and some water would do it, but then you would have sludge and need to let the water dry up a bit :-)