What a treat it is to get my hands on a box of fresh new clay. I have been reclaiming all of my scrap pieces for the past few months so I haven't played with fresh clay for awhile. I spent all day in the studio and have a bunch of fantastic bowls waiting for me to trim them tomorrow morning.
I love the fact that potters are recyclers by nature. It not only saves a lot of money, I feel that it is my small way to help the environment. I know exactly the kind of waste that I create and know that I do everything that I can to minimize it. I even reuse my broken bowls in the garden so they won't be found centuries later in the dump by some archaeologist. When I get tired of the bowls in my cupboards, I give them to college kids so they have something a little nicer in the kitchen when they first move out on their own. I also donate seconds to the Salvation Army. Why not?
Another way I cut down on waste is to save the water that I clean my glaze brushed in. I decant the water until I have a nice bunch of glaze splooge. Most of my glazes use similar chemicals so they are compatible and I have found a few nice colors by accident. I can't use the splooge for functional ware because I'm not sure that it is food safe, but I can use it for my pendants. The only disappointment so far is that I can never reproduce the same recycled glaze color twice!