Friday, June 27, 2014


So not having enough projects, I'm experimenting with clay mining and processing. There is a spot in the river that has a deposit of grayish material that caught my eye when we moved it but I never did anything with. So this is my first target. However when I went to grab some, the rushing water took much of it away. The solution to that problem is a casson. On the opposite shore there was a length of 12" PVC pipe that had washed up during a storm. I cut a length of that to serve and was able to extract the first batch of about 12 lbs. it is dirty muddy stuff, full of sand and organic material. The water inside the casson quickly clouded so I had to pull it out by hand, feeling for the slippery clay. Once the raw material is extracted, it needs to be refined as it is full of sticks sand rocks which are not wanted in the final product. One way to do this is to thoroughly dry the clay, pulverize it and sift it. This is a very laborious process and you lose a portion of the material that way. Another way is the water extraction process. I'm following these instructions I've added a bunch of water (to 22.5 lbs) and have broken up all the lumps. Now to let it settle for a bit. It's already starting to separate...

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