September 5, 2010

Treasure and Trash: Clay Rescue

{editor's note}First off, let me apologize, in public, to my friend down Athens-GA-way, Carter Gillies. I shared a private link to a blog, by accident, that he is developing but wasn't quite ready to share. Once again, my desire to share and generally impulsive nature corrupted my better judgment. Sorry Carter, hopefully your crystalline thoughts will reemerge on a blog comment soon!


So, back to my rather random "Labor Day weekend spent Laboring"...

I reclaimed some trimmings from my buddy down in Asheville, Kyle Carpenter. I happened to be in town several times this past week and managed to haul off a s***load of scrap clay that I will happily reclaim and pug this week.
Kyle doesn't have the time, nor the the equipment to reprocess this clay. I guess I don't have the time either, but I do have my trusty pugmill which makes all old clay new again. I know there's no money in this activity, but at the same I'm not spending money I don't have on what I think is around 400lbs of clay. Let's do the math.

my time spent in this endeavor (so far)
5 min. loading in the car
5 min. hauling to the slip barrel
15 min cutting bags and pouring into barrel
10 min slathering onto plaster
? days waiting to dry ( time cost=$0?)
45 min. pugging and putting into containers.

Total est. time= 1 hr 20 min.

considering 400 lbs of zella stone @ .31 = ~ $120.

$120/~1.5 hr = $80/hr (savings?)

I don't know if this is an accurate calculation. I'm not counting the cost that Kyle might have incurred carefully bagging and storing the bags before I hauled them away. Not counting the electricity and the space in my studio the house the pug mill. I'm also not sure if I'll not get more than 400 lbs. Also I was hoping to at least get a sponge or tool of some kind, but I haven't found one (yet). ;-)

I might be forgetting other costs, but with your help we can get to the bottom of this particular clay rescue!

Your thoughts PLEASE! What do you do with your scraps? Is it worth it to you? What is the quality of your clay once it's been recycled? Good, Bad, Not sure?