I've never just happened to come across a coffee grinder in forays into a thrift or big box store and haven't bothered to search one out online because I actually like to reconstitute metal clay scraps the old fashioned way - by hand. I tell my students that I enjoy the physical exertion of chopping greenware, and even keep one particular person in mind when I'm doing it. It's a wonderful stress reliever. Is that so wrong? I'm just kidding of course. Kind of.
When I discover that I've forgotten to correctly wrap a lump of clay or left the slip out so long that it's dried solid, I just get out my handy, dandy tissue blade and begin to chop. It's a pretty easy process actually.
1. First chop up the clay as small as you can. I make thin slices, then dice those into chunks using the same motion the chefs on TV use to prepare parsley.
2. Next put the crumbs in a mortar bowl, and crush to powder with a pestle. Not the ones used to make guacamole, those are too coarse. I found mine in a restaurant supply store. But places like Sur la Table, Crate and Barrel, and even the local pharmacy carry them for customers to crush herbs and pills respectively. If you don't want to invest in a mortar and pestle or you need to make metal clay powder in a hurry, you can improvise with a small bowl and a tool like the back of a screwdriver. How do I know? I did it in class once. I used a small stainless steel mixing bowl and the wooden handle of my curved burnisher. Worked like a dream!
|Notice how the particle size on the|
work surface is smaller after I
finished chopping it?
by Lora Hart