[Clayart] pug mills

Gregg Lindsley gerrg42 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 31 17:38:23 UTC 2023

Hi all!

I have a bluebird 800, one I bought 30 years ago from a fine lady in the
Bay Area for $1500. besides a wheel, it was one of the first equipment
purchases I made after starting out as a studio potter.    It's a nice
machine, and requires tender care. In California, we don't get much rain in
the summer, so I have to tend it.  To keep the clay wet when not in use, I
put a wet shop towel in the hopper touching the clay and a piece of plastic
over it.  The top to the vacuum chamber is heavy enough to keep a good
seal.  I put a clay bag with a big yellow sponge, which I keep wet over the
4 inch barrel with the clay touching the clay.  A red brick holds the whole
thing in place.  I pug often enough that it doesn't dry out.  If I am away
from it for a while, I check and make sure the towel is wet as well as the
as for recycled clay, I have a 2 gallon bucket next to my water bucket on
the wheel, and all scraps go in it. when it is full, I add some water from
the throwing bucket, tie it up with a twist tie, and throw it outside the
studio window onto a pile that is already there. part of what makes
recycled clay workable is that it has time to slake, for the water to soak
into clay.  My pile goes back a few years, so when I put it through the pug
mill, it is old and gooey.  I spread it out on large plaster bats, let it
dry until it is workable, and then pug it.
The result is a well mixed clay that is never short.  Clay manufactured at
factories is not slaked, but just mixed with water, bagged and shipped.  I
order clay with extra water, a penny a pound, so that it is usable out of
the bag. helps my students too.
So if you can, let your clay get old and mellow.

- thinking about becoming a pig farmer

and the wheel of time season two will be released tonight!!
Gregg Lindsley
Earth and Fire Pottery
10325 Brookside Drive
Middletown, Ca. 95461
Function and Beauty
in the Mingei  and
Bauhaus traditions
'At home among the lost and found'
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