HowTo: obtain clay / store clay / make bricks / clay journey


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Clay can be found as blue-gray blocks. They can be destroyed, which drops 4x clay. Clay can be smelted in furnaces to clay bricks. Clay bricks can be crafted in the inventory crafting area (or the workbench) to brick blocks, which are the nice red-with-white-stripes end-product people tend to make their houses of.

Where to find: only at the coasts of lakes where sand is (will sometimes be below the water)

How to mine: best with shovel, but naked hands work too

How to store raw clay most efficiently: If you're on a clay-harvesting journey, carrying several full clay stacks, open your inventory and put them into your 2x2 crafting area. When all 4 fields are occupied with clay, you will see the picture of a clay block on the right side, just as you find them in the wild. Take the block(s) and put into your inventory. Later, place the blocks in the world and break them apart again, just as you did with the original in-the-wild clay blocks, same effect. Nothing gets lost this way.

Of course, the most efficient way to store clay is in the form of brick blocks, but you can't go back to clay or clay bricks from there. You can destroy placed brick blocks, which will drop a brick block that you can pick up. You might have to do so with a stone pick or better, though, or you will just destroy the block, I'm not sure.

Screenshot of clay in the wild (found via Google Image, belongs to this thread)

Clay Journey

So, you want to find clay? Tough luck. You're not the only one. Where ever you look, someone else has probably already been there.

Now, on a server like SgtSpike's where you have the /sethome and /home commands and where you might have /warp points near the places you usually visit (like, you know, your home), it is a good idea not to /sethome where your house is. Instead, start a journey and do /sethome from time to time. You can /warp to a point near your home to visit your house. Then do /home to continue your journey.

And I don't mean a journey whenever you might want so see the world and look for clay. I mean a permanent journey that you stick to as long as the server is running its map. Never /sethome somewhere else, only on your far far away stroll.

Walk away from the places other people are. Start walking from the spawn or from one of the warp points. Keep walking into one general direction. Use the sun/moon (or the /compass command, you loser) to know your orientation. The sun/moon rises in the east, sets in the west. Left of the rising sun/moon ... Dude, do I really have to explain this?

This, btw, is referred to as "exploring" in the chat, and it can cause the server to slow down, but since Minecraft is still alpha, this problem will hopefully subside at some point.

And on such a journey, while trying to keep your general direction (so that you can't accidentally walk in a large circle), try to keep near coasts. Look for blocks which look like clay or smoothstone (it's very similar, but you can develop an eye for it) and that are on a yellow sand background. That's probably clay.

Dig it, store it in the inventory (maybe as blocks), later put a 64-stack into a furnace, fire it up with an 8-stack of coal (see also How to get your stuff back from the furnace), take the 64 resulting clay bricks, craft them in your 2x2 inventory craft area (or the workbench) to brick blocks.

When you sell brick blocks, don't forget how much went into it: 64 clay thingies plus 8 coal result in 64 clay bricks. Those result in 16 brick blocks. So, a 64-stack of brick blocks ate 32 coal and 64 clay blocks (since every block drops 4 clay thingies).

Don't underestimate how many brick blocks a full brick house really needs. It's relatively easy to get all that clay using the journey method, but it's still a considerable amount.