Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Recycling ideas

I continue my search for ways to recycle my shavings of baked/cured clay. (TerraCycle does not currently accept polymer as part of one of their programs although they encouraged me to check back as they are adding to their accepted materials list all the time.)

Here is one simple re-use of already baked clay thats working well for me so far.  I just treat the pre-baked bits as inclusions. No doubt some of you are already doing this but this is my method. 


Chop the pre-baked clay by hand into pea size bits if its large and then pulverize it to varying degrees of grain in a coffee grinder. I worked with a mixture of sizes for these beads. I wear a mask to do this because some of the clay is so small that its dust.

I incorporate the grit into an unbaked piece of clay. Here I mixed up a "cardboard" sort of brown to play with the recycled theme.

 Incorporating the grits deeply into the clay or just into the outside surface will achieve different looks.

 Next I shaped and texturize the beads with sanding pads. I make my basic shape, they I pierced the bead and go back and shape further with the needle through the bead. 

I've tried differing amounts of the re-used inclusions and several colors of soft clay, keeping to neutrals so far. 

Do you have good ways to recycle/re-use pre-baked clay? I'd love to hear what you are doing!


  1. Hi, Genevieve!
    It's really a great idea how you use sanding pads to shape the beads. I was wondering what kind of pads you use?
    I never have prebaked scraps to recycle so I don't have any ideas for that. I sure have more scrap clay than I'll ever use. I need to get busy and mix some new colors with it.

  2. Hi Doreen,
    Well if you ever accumulate baked pieces that didn't quite work or got cracked, those could be chopped up and used this way.

  3. ....and then list them in your etsy shop in the supplies section, so Myselvaged life can buy them! :))))

  4. My friend, Jenda Dienstbir, has made this self-portrait and used the scrap from drilling beads to decorate his sweater:
    I love the result.

  5. I have been painfully scouring etsy, google, bookmarks, favorites for two days to no avail...until today - five words later 'faceted ring blog polymer wipe' and there! UnaOdd which then led me to your blog where I had months ago saved photographs of your precious grey speckled beads without saving where the photographs came from I had no way of finding your pieces.

  6. I am beyond elated for finding this here post! Not only have I found you once again - one year and two days later, but was greeted with a magnificent tutorial to make my favorite beads. Please, recycle your carvings to me, I would be so happy to take them from your hands! I live your posts, keep doing what you do - its beautiful. Youve inspired me greatly.