Guide to Clay Leaching

Soft Clay No More: A Basics Guide to Clay Leaching

Hey there friends! Are you tired of your clay being all soft and sticky? Well, worry no more! Clay leaching is a simple process that can transform your clay and make it super easy to work with. In this guide, we're going to dive into the world of clay leaching, how it works, and give you step-by-step instructions.

What is Clay Leaching?

  • Clay leaching is like a makeover for your clay, where we remove excess moisture and plasticizers to give it a firm and manageable consistency.
  • Why should you care? Well, soft clay can be a bit of a troublemaker, making it hard to shape and sticking to everything in sight. But fear not! With clay leaching, you can take control of your clay and create the most amazing creations with ease.

The Magic (Science) of Clay Leaching

  • The Clay Composition: Picture your clay as a crowd of tiny plastic particles all hanging out together, held in place by a binder. That binder contains plasticizers, the secret sauce that gives clay its flexible nature.
  • Plasticizers: These sneaky additives are the reason your clay is so squishy and easy to shape. But sometimes, they can go a little overboard and make your clay way too soft.
  • Enter Clay Leaching: It's all about absorbing those extra plasticizers from the clay.
  • To do this you'll need plain white paper, paper towels, or blotting paper. These materials have the power to suck up the moisture and plasticizers from the clay.

Let's Leach Some Clay

Step 1: Your clay

  • Grab that soft or sticky clay that's giving you trouble. We're about to show it who's boss!
  • Split the clay into smaller portions, making the leaching process more manageable.

Step 2: Wrap it up!

  • Take a sheet of plain white paper or a trusty paper towel and fold it in half.
  • Place your clay portion in the center of the paper and gently fold it over.
  • Press down lightly to ensure good contact between the clay and the paper.

Step 3: Time to Squeeze!

  • Now comes the fun part! Put some muscle into it and give your clay a gentle squeeze, or sit on it. 
  • Feel the paper soaking up the excess moisture and plasticizers, leaving your clay with a newfound strength and resilience.
  • Leave this smooshed clay in its paper for a few hours, or overnight.

Step 4: The Results

  • When you return unfold the paper to reveal your transformed clay. Boom baby, super soft clay no more!
  • If your clay still feels a bit too soft, repeat the process with fresh paper or paper towel until you reach the desired consistency.

Step 5: Let's get to work!

  • Now that you've mastered the art of clay leaching, it's time to unlock your creativity.
  • Enjoy the newfound ease of working with your clay without it sticking to your hands or tools.

Congratulations, you have successfully clay leached and transformed your clay into something workable. Now, go forth and create amazing jewelry, and anything else your imagination desires. Happy crafting! 

Back to blog