I am new to the forum and need some help. i have built a 6" j tube from loose stacked firebricks and it work great. Now I would like to mortar the bricks with clay slip. Here is the problem. I have several different local clay soils to choose from. One soil is 66% clay and 33% sand, another is 20% clay and 80% sand. The last one I have tried has so much clay in it that it won't melt in water. I have dried the first soil and hammered it into small pieces added some sand and it made good slip.I know this is the long way to get the question so here it is. Is there anyway to process the pure clay soil without drying it first?
Sure, if you soak the clay with excess water for a day or few it will fully hydrate and be workable. you may want to pour off some of the water before mixing depending on how much excess water you used.
If the clay soil has caliche you may still have hard clumps after the soak, but most soils will break down nicely.