fired clay -bonsai soil

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fired clay -bonsai soil

Post  Jake16 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:30 pm

Do you use the clay after the bisque firing or after the glaze firing bit don't use any glaze?

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Re: fired clay -bonsai soil

Post  JimLewis on Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:34 pm

I'm not understanding your question. Are you considering somehow firing your own clay-based bonsai soil?

I don't have any clue how you would get the fired clay broken down into small enough particles.

Much easier, IMO, to buy a bag of Turface.

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Re: fired clay -bonsai soil

Post  Jake16 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:42 pm

I'm in a ceramics class and I have some extra vases I don't need I was wondering if I could just crush them up and use them soil

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Re: fired clay -bonsai soil

Post  JimLewis on Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:52 pm

Sure you could. But figure the amount of unwanted pot you'd have to crush to get enough "soil" to fill up even a small 5x7 shohin pot. And then determine how you'd crush the pots into reasonably consistent 1/8 - 1/4 inch pieces.

There likely are easier ways.

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Re: fired clay -bonsai soil

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:53 pm

I would not. You really don't know what chemicals are in that clay or glaze. And, in my experience, when you try to break up ceramics as you are considering the particles are dangerously sharp.

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Re: fired clay -bonsai soil

Post  Jake16 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:57 pm

As I stated I would not use a glaze and aren't the particles suppose to be sharp? Jim I've used a tamp to break up lava rock before.

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Re: fired clay -bonsai soil

Post  rockm on Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:09 pm

This really isn't worth the trouble or effort to do. You will be planting in something that is more akin to glass, not turface or pumice. Bonsai pots are meant to be mostly impervious to water, or at least less porous than the soil particles they hold. Crushed bonsai pots are probably a poor alternative to turface or other stuff because the particles aren't are porous and won't hold as much water...

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Re: fired clay -bonsai soil

Post  Guest on Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:13 pm

Bisque fired clay remains porous & would be a good addition to your potting mix but only if your scrapping the work.

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kitty litter with caution

Post  Robert Taylor on Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:15 am

As I live in a remote area in NY I have often found it necessary to improvise. Many years ago I took to making my own pots. I'd often noticed "red clay" soil mentioned in bonsai books, so when I did a bisque (1st) firing I'd add a bag of basic clay kitty litter and the results were very much the same as the Turface that I now use. If you attempt to use kitty litter check the list of ingredients on the bag. Two things to note: make sure there's only clay and do a test firing of a small batch before going ahead and firing the entire bag. The last bag that I fired came from Florida. Nothing against Florida but that was the only difference from my previous bags of kitty liter. A couple of hours into the firing, thick yellow smoke (sulphur dioxide) filled the room and was venting out of the building. I stayed nearby until the smoke stopped to make sure nobody got exposed to it. I felt bad about polluting the air but also very lucky that no one was injured. That was over 20+ yrs. ago.

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Re: fired clay -bonsai soil

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