Some people ask us why we recommend using plastic sheeting in our handbuilding projects, when so many other people use canvas or cotton.

Yes, plastic sheeting sticks, but that’s a plus point! It means that you don’t have to over-handle the slab, and risk warping.¬† Roll out on it, then lift the plastic instead of picking the clay up, and it holds onto the clay until you’re ready to reposition it. With canvas, it drops the clay when it gets to its ‘tipping point’, but plastic offers more control and doesn’t release until you ask it to (unless it’s a massively thick, heavy slab). You can turn it upside down and it’ll stay in place. When the slab is in position, just peel the plastic off and run a rib over the surface to remove any crease marks and compress the clay.

Plastic¬†also keeps the clay moist, both while you’re rolling, and afterwards, when you can cover the slab with it to keep it workable while you’re making something. It also doesn’t create dust. Both of which are minus points for canvas.

The best source of plastic is the 10p bags you get from supermarkets. The cheaper ones are too flimsy, but the next ones up are perfect. Just cut the sides of the bag off.

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