Today we bring you a couple of tips from Ceramic Arts Daily readers
about two essential items for any clay studio: plaster and plastic
storage bins. Plaster is used in the ceramic process for many things:
for molds, as throwing bats and for reclaiming clay, to name a few. The
two tips below address how plaster poured into plastic storage bins can
make the reclaiming process easier and neater, and help you preserve
pieces of pots or sculptures that didn’t work out in one project for
just the right future project. Thanks to Karen and Carol for submitting
these tips! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.







Whenever
I recycle clay slop on a plaster bat, it seems that I always have more
clay than what the bat can hold. So I bought a plastic tub (the kind
that fits under the bed, see above image) and poured plaster directly into the bottom
half of the tub. Once the plaster has dried out, I can pour the clay
slop on top anywhere from to 1 to 3 inches thick on the bat without it
going anywhere. An added bonus is that the tub comes with handles (some
even have wheels), which makes it easier to move it around. Plus, the
tub protects the slab from getting chipped. Karen Dormaar, Lethbridge,
Alberta, Canada.

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I
attended a class given by Lana Wilson and have been using her method
for using plastic pails for keeping your clay projects in workable
condition until completion ever since. It has saved me many times
including returning leather to workable when necessary. Take any good
sealing plastic container like Rubbermaid and put plaster in the bottom
approximately one inch in depth. Slowly stir in water till you get a
sour cream consistency and the plaster and water are thoroughly mixed.
At this point it would be a good idea to hit the sides or lift slightly
and drop to release the bubbles. Put the top back on and let it set up.
This container will always have some moisture in it and the moisture
can be increased by putting in a cup or two of water onto the hardened
plaster. Always keep the top on to retain the moisture. Pieces can be
made and left in the box until needed then applied to your current
work. Lana called it a “keeper box” and she couldn’t have named it
better. I now have a few of them in different sizes. I have made pieces
that I find interesting, but are not usable with my current project. So
I end up putting them in my keeper box and using them months later.
Carol Gleason, Howell, New Jersey.


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