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    What is a pugmill?

    You’ve heard us mention using our pugmill.  You’ve even seen pictures of us using our pugmill. But what exactly is a pugmill?

    Pugmill

    A pugmill is essentially a machine that mixes materials with a liquid.  In pottery, it can be used with clay to achieve the consistency that you are looking for.  It is helpful because it means that leftover clay need not be thrown away, but just stored for later use.  When stored for any period of time, the clay will start to dry out.  Thus, a pugmill is used to mix the dried out clay with water to make the clay soft and workable again.

    In our pottery studio, we always have a huge pile of clay leftover from our projects, whether from pressing, building large bowls, or working on the wheel.  So some days become “pugging days”.  Pugging clay doesn’t take long, but we allow each batch about 15 minutes to churn.  You wouldn’t think it, but the pugmill can hold 4-5 bags of clay!

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    Then depending on how dry the clay is, we’ll add several cups of water.

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    Next, we close the top, flip the lever to “mix”, and let it do its thing!

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    Finally, after we’ve allowed ample time for mixing and churning, we flip the lever to “extrude” and out comes the newly softened clay!

    pugmill 2

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    If the clay is soft enough, it is ready to be used again.  If not, it can be put back through a pugmill cycle.

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