How To Extrude Clay

One of the essential homeworking skills is extruding clay. This will be essential in creating designs for your garden, or for just about anything clay-related. In order to begin learning how to extrude clay properly, you should have a supply of clay on hand, as well as a clay extruder.
These tools are used primarily for clayworking, and are most useful in creating consistent and controlled ribbons and streams of clay that can vary according to the length you need. There are, of course, wide varieties of commercially available clay extruders, each designed for any number of possible shapes and sizes. You can easily save a few dollars and create your own clay extruder with materials that you can find at home. This is a do it yourself project from recyclable materials which you can customize according to your own needs.

  • Start with a used plastic bottle and its cap. Any PET bottle will do, but it is preferred for you to use clear plastic bottles, so you will be able to see the clay underneath. You will have to wash both the bottle and the cap thoroughly. It is best to do so separately, paying particular attention to both the threads of the bottle and cap, as well as the inner surfaces. Make sure there is no remaining residue of soap afterwards.
  • The top of the bottle should be removed – this can easily be done with a utility knife, or any cutting edge that can give you controlled and clean cut edges. When cutting off the top of the bottle, it is best to include a few inches beyond the neck of the bottle.
  • You will have to remove the plastic lining of your bottle cap (if any). If you are not sure of what it is, it refers to the semi-opaque disc that is located at the underside of the top of the cap. This may take several attempts before it is complete successfully – start by using thin metal tools (such as your handy screwdriver or nut pick) in order to wedge the cap out. If it is glued down, you may have to pick it out with needle-nosed pliers.
  • The next step is creating the hole through which your clay will extrude. Start off by drawing your desired shape on the top of the bottle cap with a permanent marker. This will be the orifice through which your clay will extrude. You can be able to cut out the hole with a sufficiently sharp utility knife. Smooth out the edges, and you should avoid jagged edges and tears. Re-attach the bottle cap to the top part that you’ve cut off and screw it on tightly, keeping it airtight and watertight.
  • Once you have your extruder, use it to create a variety of shapes and designs for your home projects, and other do-it-yourself ideas you may start to have. Remember, you can easily change the shape of your clay strips by changing the shape of your extruder’s cap.

You can use your fingers to extrude clay through this hole, or you can design a plunger for your clay extruder with the remaining parts of the bottle that you have. It will be easy for you to design and create shapes for your clay extruder according to your needs.


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