Scott Paulding on fri 20 jan 06
i'll be the first to admit that mold in my clay generally doesn't bother
me, and that the swamp smell is a good thing, but the situation in my
studio just got waaaay out of hand.
i live in the seattle area, rent a two-bedroom apartment, and the second
bedroom is turned into a mini-studio where i throw, store clay/reclaim. i
covered the floor and walls with drop clothes, shelving units, and have at
it. it's a pretty successful situation. i take my bone dry work to a local
community center (mosheir center for the arts in burien) to get it bisqued
and ^10 fired. i store all my glazes and finished work down there.
since i literally live a room away from the studio, the swamp smell was
getting to me. i mean, it was really bad. an incredibly
stagnant/sour/moldy earth smell was permeating my whole apartment. my
porcelain reclaim was charcoal grey to black (gotta love the funky molds
of the pacific northwest that live in damp environments).
so i figured i had to kill whatever was in it. i got to thinking about
chemicals -- bleach or other disinfectants. but i also didn't want that
crap in my clay or on my hands any more than necessary. i had been
noticing how quickly this mold dies when exposed to air (sometimes, within
a few hours, the surface of a freshly thrown porcelain pot would turn the
original claybody color again, but the core would stil be the funky black
i got to thinking about this oxy-clean stuff i had lying around. i use it
as a chlorine free bleach alternative for laundry. but i also use it to
clean out my sinks and stuff. it pretty much turns into hydrogen peroxide
in water, and gets all bubbly. what if i added some of this stuff to the
reclaim? would the oxygen kill the mold? the answer is an unqualified YES.
and it eliminated the smell. almost instantly.
so, for those of you who have issue with the black mold, swamp smell, or
bacteria laiden reclaim, i would recommend addign this stuff to the water
(what i have came powdered in a 12# tub, from bed, bath and beyond),
mixing it till it dissolves, then adding in that scrap clay/reclaim. works
like a charm.
be warned tho, it will act as a flocculant (makes the slurry thicker,
right? -- i always get them backwards).
(in seattle, wa)
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Heather Alexander on sat 21 jan 06
At school I keep plastic clay in a large storage bin covered in a damp towel
and then the containers lid. I add a few drops of lavender oil to the spray
bottle water to moisten the clay and keep the towel damp. This has
eliminated the moldy towel/clay problem. Aromatically pleasing solution.
Kathy Forer on sun 22 jan 06
On Jan 20, 2006, at 1:59 PM, Scott Paulding wrote:
> i'll be the first to admit that mold in my clay generally doesn't
> me, and that the swamp smell is a good thing, but the situation in my
> studio just got waaaay out of hand.
Not the cheapest, but a good long-term solution would be to get a de-
Depending on your space, be sure to get a sufficient size. A 65
gallon dehumidifier is sufficient to cool a 30x40 3/4 basement studio
in summer and keep it fresh in winter. I have an attached hose run
out a half-window and rarely need to empty the container. Studio gets
mildly swampy if it's been off more than a day.
I purchased a dented and scratched unit for considerably less, maybe
2/3 price, at acforsale.com. Comfort-aire, really works, good
residential brand. I haven't noticed any impact on my electric bill,
in part because I no longer run the outside-exhausting box fans in
summer, but no apparent change in winter either.