How To Make Clay From Dirt



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How to Make Clay from Indigenous Soil

Three Parts:

Clay for pottery and other art forms can easily be made from the soil in your own backyard. It is a time consuming but simple process. All you need are a few containers, some soil and water, and a cloth. This will allow you to separate the clay from the sediment and thicken it.

Steps

Mixing a Sludge

  1. Collect some soil.Ideally, you will collect your soil from beneath the topsoil. The topsoil is usually two to eight inches (five to twenty centimetres) deep and contains a higher concentration of contaminants. Avoiding this top layer of soil will help eliminate organic debris such as living plants, roots, and insects. The more soil you collect, the more clay you can make.
  2. Add soil to a container.The size of the container will depend on how much soil you are using. Fill the container about two-thirds full of soil. Try to avoid using bottlenecked containers, as they may make it harder to pour contents out in later steps.
    • To help eliminate debris you could sift the soil before adding it to the container. However, this is not necessary.
  3. Mix water into the soil.You can use water straight from your tap. Be sure to thoroughly stir the mixture. You should eliminate all clumps and have an even mixture of water and soil.

Separating Clay from Sediment

  1. Let the mixture sit.The clay will separate from the sediment and be suspended in the water. The ‘clay water’ will float on top of the sediment. Be careful not to shake the container or stir the sediment that now rests at the bottom.
  2. Pour the clay water into another container.Be careful not to pour any sediment into your new container. Once you see the sediment reach the lip of the original container stop pouring. Once you have poured off the clay water, you can discard the sediment.
  3. Repeat this process four to five times.Add water, stir the mixture, let it set, and pour the clay water into another container. Each time you do this, the clay will be more pure. Ideally, you will continue the process until you see no sediment at the bottom.

Thickening the Clay

  1. Allow the clay to separate from the water.Since the clay is just suspended in the water and not highly soluble, it will settle at the bottom if left alone. The clay water will need to sit for at least twenty-four hours. The water and clay will form two separate layers. You will be able to tell when this happens because the water will be clear.
    • If you still see a layer of sediment below the clay repeat the steps to remove the sediment.
  2. Pour the water off of the clay.Once you see the clay reach the lip of the container, stop pouring. The clay will be soft and saturated with water. If you pour it out, you will have to start over.
  3. Let the clay sit.As the clay settles, even more water will move up and create another top water layer. Pour the clear water off of the clay again. Once the clay reaches the lip of the container, stop pouring.
    • You can repeat this process until the water is no longer forming a substantial layer.
  4. Pour the clay into a cloth.Lay the cloth over a bowl to help guide the runny clay into the cloth. The cloth must be large enough to encompass all of the clay in your container. The cloth will act as a bag for the clay. Tie the cloth with a piece of string as though you are creating a ball of clay inside the cloth.
    • Any cloth will do. You can use an old t-shirt or bedsheet. Be sure to use something that you don’t mind getting dirty.
    • You can split the clay into multiple cloths to speed up the hardening process.
  5. Hang the cloth bag.This will allow water to drip from the fabric. As the water leaves the clay, the clay will harden. This process can take two or three days
    • Be sure to hang it somewhere where you don’t mind water dripping. You could hang it from a tree or your porch.
    • After a couple of days check the consistency of the clay. Different projects require different consistency. If you need it to be harder, let it hang longer.
  6. Finished.

Community Q&A

Search
  • Question
    How long do you let the sludge sit to separate?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    24 hours usually works, unless you see a distinct layer on top of cloudy water.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    I have a piece of natural clay rock how do I make clay with it
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    The most important step is to remove contaminants. If the clay rock is full of other smaller rocks or debris, you can break it up and follow the same process as purifying clay from soil. This will give you a more pure clay.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How do I get the stones out of clay?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Sift through the clay using some water to get the clay to move through the sifter. The smaller the sifter, the fewer rocks will remain.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How can I make clay soil?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You should follow the instructions in the article that is listed above.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Is this clay fine for making pendants or beads for jewelry?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes. You can make clay for jewelry from soil.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Which type of soil contains more clay?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Soil near streams often has a lot of clay. To test soil, wet it, roll it into a snake and see if you can wrap it around your finger. If the snake cracks, it's not very good for clay.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How do I make a clay pot?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    That's a really good question. Making a clay pot is one of the easiest projects to make with your new clay. Starting with a shape in mind, you can use your hands to shape the design and thickness of your pot. This article can give you a few ways to get started: How to Make a Clay Pot.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    At what temperature do I fire clay in the kiln?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    1800 degrees to 2400 degrees Fahrenheit is the normal amount for firing clay in a kiln.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Can this clay be used to make bricks?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, it can be.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How much soil do I need to make 0.5 pounds of clay?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    That will depend on how rich in clay your soil is. Try it with 1 pound of soil and see how much clay you end up with. Adjust accordingly.
    Thanks!
Unanswered Questions
  • How can I find out which cone/temperature I can fire this clay in? So I know what cone of glaze to put on it later on.
  • Can red clay be turned into molding clay with this procedure?
  • Can this clay be air dried?
  • Where can I find clay in soil?
  • Is there a way to make this in under 24 hours?
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Date: 07.12.2018, 19:24 / Views: 74353