Scraps and Filings into Clay

Scraps ....

Twenty five dollars of scraps and filings a month. That’s how much I make or save when I collect them. See Sanding.

This process is good for PMC3 and 960, because that is the extent of my experience with turning scraps and filings back into clay. If you do an online search, you’ll find lots of tutorials on this subject. The more you know, the more you’ll succeed.

I store my “reclaimed” clay in an appropriately marked container. One day I grabbed it, thinking I was grabbing commercial-grade clay. I used it to make charms and small earrings. Unlike before when I made my own clay, I could not tell that I was using reclaimed clay. Whohoo!

Per usual, the process is described in the photo’s captions.

You can read more on refreshing clay and expired or failed binder at PMC Connections blog.

Here goes.

I keep my scraps and filings in the plastic container. Here I’ve dumped them out onto my file catch tray, which is simply a sheet of glossy photo paper with the sides folded up.

There were filings and there were larger pieces, such as a broken bail. I chose to separate these.

I dumped all of the scraps into a strainer and tapped or scraped them to help them get through the mesh.

I collected the fine filings in the lid of my coffee grinder.

I collected the larger chunks in the coffee grinder.

My coffee grinder is one I use for silver only. It’s a cheap model that I found on some discount online store,
which is why it was a lousy grinder.

Regardless, I grinded away, shaking it vigorously.

I combined all the filings onto a large teflon sheet, brushing out the lid and grinder.
But wait, I didn’t have to empty and clean the lid. Why not? Because I decided to mix the filings with water in the lid, 
and I’m just going to use it again next time.

I put most of my filings in the lid. The reason I held some back is in case I get carried away with adding water.

I put my distilled water in a sprayer, as misting the filings with water is the best way to wet them.

This was my first mixing. I added only enough water to make the clay crumbly. It just barely stuck to the container’s sides.

At this point or when I need only to add just a little moisture, I added a few drops of Sherri Haab’s Paste Maker.
It smells like it has Tea Tree Oil in it, which is an anti-fungal agent.

Here I added the rest of my filings and made it slightly more moist than crumbly moist.

Ready to roll? I used two large sheets of teflon. Another good material to use is each side of a one-gallon ziplock bag.

I put olive oil on my teflon, which is totally unnecessary. I spread the oil on one sheet then put the other sheet on top and pulled them apart, which left a fine smear of oil on each sheet.

Clay clumps on teflon. Hmmmm, good.

I scraped clean-as-possible the coffee grinder lid.
I am just going to leave it for next time, at which time the clay will have dried and will come off easily.

Okay. Teflon - clumps sandwich. I rolled the clay with no thickness slats.
I turned the Teflon square 90 degrees and rolled some more.

I took a peak between my teflon sheets. Hm, looks okay.

Notice how parts of the clay are sticking to the teflon. It’s okay.

I rolled it all up and then rolled it in my palms. This was what it looked like at this point.

I rolled some more, and more. The more you roll, the better the mix and resulting clay.

I had a bunch of clay on my fingers from cleaning the scraping tool
so I rubbed my fingers together over the clay to add these tidbits.

Another roll. To collect the clay after each roll, I began at one end and curled it up upon itself,
 capturing as little air as possible.

This was my last roll. I settled for four good rolls. The clay looked homogenous and uniform in density.

I made a ball with no cracks. 

I stored the clay ball in an appropriately labeled container, following my steps in Opening a New PMC Package.

Let this clay sit for a few days before you use it.

For online courses in metal clay, go to I Love Silver, where you learn how to design and create your own silver creations.

© Kris A Kramer 2018