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reclaiming clay with saltillo tiles

updated mon 17 may 10


DJBrewer88 on sun 16 may 10

Saltillo tiles are the absolute best for reclaiming clay, You can have
a squooshy gooey mess of clay, sandwich it between to saltillo tiles,
and in 15 to 20 minutes you can wedge it and throw it.

Saltillo tiles are earthenware tiles made in Saltillo Mexico. They are
widely used throughout the West and Southwest for flooring in homes. I
started using saltillo for wedging last year when we did our hallway in

Saltillo tiles are unglazed clay and are notoriously absorbent. They
are a bitch to work with and many tile layers won't touch them because
they are such a pain to deal with. They are heavy, uneven, thick, and
stain easily unless they are properly sealed after the floor is laid.

But they make FANTASTIC wedging tiles. I have about a dozen of various
sizes in my studio. I use them all the time. The four inch ones, I set
mugs on to dry, or sandwich a small bit of clay between them when I want
to dry a little something out and rethrow it. I use the larger one for
larger pieces.

I use the 12 inch tiles to sandwich clay from a gallon bucket between
for recycling clay. I put about a half gallon of clay between two 12
inch tiles and in about 30 minutes, the messy clay is ready to wedge and
then use. The tiles are portable and infinitely usable. I am surprised
I've never heard of any other potter using them. They are infinitely
better than plaster because they are not as soft as plaster, are much
more absorbent than plaster, and it does not matter if you get a speck
of saltillo in your clay, Its just more grog.

DJ the Saltillo user