Building Dreams: The Essential Guide to Skyrim Clay

Ah, fellow Dragonborn! I remember the first time I set foot on my newly acquired plot of land in the heart of Skyrim. The wind howling through the pines, the distant roar of a dragon, and right there, beneath my boots, the very essence of my future abode: clay. But, by the Nine, I was as clueless as a mudcrab in a soul gem! How do I mine this? And once I’ve got my hands full of this earthy gold, what’s next? I felt like I’d bitten off more than I could chew, like trying to solo a Draugr Deathlord at level 5.

I bet you’ve been there too, right? Pondering questions like:

  • How do I mine clay in this vast realm?
  • Where exactly can I find these elusive clay deposits?
  • Once I’ve got this clay, how do I mold it into the fortress of my dreams?

I wished there was a guide, a scroll of wisdom, to help me navigate this home-building quest. And that’s why I’ve crafted this tome for you, fellow adventurer. Think of it as your enchanted map, guiding you through the misty fogs of uncertainty. ?️

So, ready your pickaxe and let’s embark on this journey together. Keep on reading, and let’s turn that pile of clay into a stronghold fit for the Dragonborn!

Skyrim Clay: An Introduction

Ah, Skyrim! A land of dragons, shouts, and… homebuilding? That’s right! If you’ve delved into the “Hearthfire” DLC of Skyrim, you’ve probably come across the need for various building materials, one of which is clay. Let’s dive deep into the muddy world of clay in Skyrim.

What is Clay in Skyrim?

Clay isn’t the shiny Daedric artifact or the powerful enchanted weapon you might be used to seeking out in the vast world of Skyrim. Instead, it’s a rather mundane, brownish lump. But don’t be fooled by its humble appearance! Clay is an essential building material if you’re looking to construct a homestead of your own.

Where Can You Find Clay?

You won’t be finding clay in dragon lairs or ancient Dwemer ruins. Instead, clay deposits are typically found near your purchased properties. When you buy a plot of land as part of the Hearthfire DLC, you’ll usually find a clay deposit nearby. It looks like a slightly discolored, often brownish patch of ground. When you approach it, you’ll get the option to mine it. And the best part? These deposits are abundant! You can mine a single spot for hours and still have clay to spare.

I’ll touch more on were you can find clay and how to mine it later in this article.

What’s Clay Used For?

So, you’ve got your hands dirty and mined some clay. Now what?

Clay is primarily used for building the foundations of your homestead. Think of it as the brick and mortar of Skyrim. Whether you’re constructing the main hall, adding a greenhouse, or building a library to store all those skill books and spell tomes, you’re going to need clay.

When you’re at the drafting table, planning out your dream home, you’ll notice that many parts of the building process require clay. It’s used in combination with other materials like quarried stone, iron ingots, and sawn logs to create the various structures and additions to your home.

I’ll look into how to make the most your clay when building your Hearthfire home later in this article.

Why is Clay Important?

While it might not have the allure of a gleaming ebony sword or the mystique of a rare alchemical ingredient, clay is the unsung hero of the Hearthfire DLC. Without it, your dreams of home ownership in Skyrim would crumble (pun intended). It’s the foundation (literally) of your home-building endeavors.

In conclusion, while clay might seem like a simple, mundane material in the grand tapestry of Skyrim’s adventures, it holds its own special place in the hearts of aspiring homeowners across the land. So, the next time you’re knee-deep in a dragon fight, just remember the simple pleasures of mining clay and building your own cozy nook in the world of Skyrim. Happy building!

Where Can I find clay in Skyrim?

In Skyrim”, especially with the “Hearthfire” DLC, clay becomes an essential resource for players looking to build their own homes. Here’s where you can find clay in Skyrim:

  1. Near Your Homestead: Every plot of land you purchase within the Hearthfire DLC will have a clay deposit nearby. Here are the locations of the three plots you can buy:
    • Lakeview Manor (located in Falkreath Hold): The clay deposit is just to the right of the workbench, near the pile of logs.
    • Windstad Manor (located in Hjaalmarch): The clay deposit is in the stone quarry, a little way off from the drafting table.
    • Heljarchen Hall (located in The Pale): The clay deposit is next to the stone quarry, just a few steps away from the drafting table.
  2. Other Locations: While the most convenient clay deposits are near your homesteads, there are other locations scattered throughout Skyrim where you can find clay. However, these are less common than stone quarries.
  3. Using a Pickaxe: To extract clay, you’ll need a pickaxe. Approach the deposit and use the pickaxe as you would with a regular ore vein in Skyrim. The good news is that these clay deposits don’t deplete quickly, so you can get a lot of clay from a single spot.

Remember, clay deposits look like slightly discolored patches of ground, often brownish. When you approach them, you’ll get the option to mine them.

How to ‘Mine’ the clay in Skyrim

Mining clay in Skyrim is a straightforward process, but if you’re new to the game or the Hearthfire DLC, it can be a bit confusing at first. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide on how to mine clay in Skyrim:

  1. Acquire a Pickaxe:
    • Before you can mine clay (or any other mineral in Skyrim), you’ll need a pickaxe.
    • Pickaxes can be found in various locations throughout Skyrim, including mines, certain shops, and sometimes lying around in the open.
    • If you don’t already have one, a good place to start is any mine or blacksmith’s shop.
  2. Locate a Clay Deposit:
    • As mentioned earlier, every plot of land you purchase within the Hearthfire DLC will have a clay deposit nearby. Look for a slightly discolored, often brownish patch of ground.
    • If you’re near your homestead, the clay deposit is typically not far from your workbench or drafting table.
  3. Approach the Clay Deposit:
    • Walk up to the clay deposit until you see an interaction prompt. Depending on your game settings and platform, this might read “Mine” or show a corresponding button/icon.
  4. Start Mining:
    • Manual Mining: Press the interaction button (e.g., ‘E’ on PC) to start mining. Your character will begin to use the pickaxe on the deposit. You’ll receive clay in your inventory with each swing.
    • Quick Mining: Alternatively, you can equip the pickaxe as a weapon and manually hit the clay deposit. This method is faster than the automatic mining animation.
  5. Collect the Clay:
    • As you mine, clay will be added to your inventory automatically. You don’t need to do anything extra to collect it.
    • Each time you mine, you’ll typically get 4 units of clay.
  6. Monitor Your Inventory:
    • Keep an eye on your inventory weight. Clay, like all items, has weight, and if you mine a lot, it can add up and overburden you, slowing your movement.
  7. Continue or Stop Mining:
    • Clay deposits in Skyrim are quite generous. You can mine a single deposit for a long time before it’s exhausted. However, for practical purposes and due to the vast amount of clay each deposit holds, it’s often considered inexhaustible.
    • You can stop mining at any time by simply moving your character away from the deposit or pressing the interaction button again.
  8. Store or Use the Clay:
    • Once you’ve mined enough clay, you can use it for building at your homestead or store it in a chest or your home for later use.

And that’s it! With these steps, you’ll be well on your way to building your dream home in Skyrim. Happy mining and building!

How to Use Clay in Skyrim

Absolutely! Once you’ve mined a good amount of clay in Skyrim, especially with the Hearthfire DLC, you’ll want to put it to use in building your dream homestead. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide on how to use the clay you’ve mined:

  1. Plan Your Build:
    • Before you start using your clay, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to build. This could be the main hall, an armory, a kitchen, or any of the other numerous additions available in Hearthfire.
    • Go to the Drafting Table near your plot of land. Here, you can select the structure you want to build.
  2. Check the Blueprint:
    • Once you’ve selected what you want to build at the Drafting Table, move over to the Carpenter’s Workbench. This is where you’ll see a list of materials needed for each part of the structure.
    • Look for any parts of the building that require clay. The workbench will show you how much clay (and other materials) you need for each component.
  3. Access Your Inventory:
    • Approach the Carpenter’s Workbench and access it. This will bring up a menu showing both the materials needed and the materials you have in your inventory.
    • Ensure you have enough clay in your inventory for the parts you want to build. If not, you might need to mine more or check any storage chests you have nearby.
  4. Start Building:
    • With the required amount of clay in your inventory, select the part of the structure you want to build from the Carpenter’s Workbench menu.
    • The game will automatically use the clay (and other materials) from your inventory to construct the selected part.
    • You’ll see a confirmation once the part is built, and the clay will be deducted from your inventory.
  5. Monitor Your Progress:
    • As you use up clay and other materials, keep an eye on your inventory to ensure you don’t run out. If you do, you’ll need to gather more before you can continue building.
    • Periodically check the structure you’re building to see your progress. As you add more components, your homestead will start to take shape!
  6. Store Extra Clay:
    • If you find that you’ve mined more clay than you currently need, it’s a good idea to store the excess in a nearby chest or inside your home. This way, you’ll have a ready supply for future building projects or repairs.
  7. Expand and Customize:
    • As you continue to build and expand your homestead, you’ll find various uses for clay, especially in combination with other materials like quarried stone and sawn logs. Experiment with different structures and customizations to make your home truly unique!

Remember, building a home in Skyrim is not just about having a place to store your loot or sleep. It’s a reflection of your journey and achievements in the game. With each brick of clay you lay, you’re crafting a legacy in the land of the Nords. Enjoy the process and take pride in your creation!


Ah, fellow adventurer, our journey through the clay-laden lands of Skyrim has been as epic as a battle with Alduin himself. We’ve delved deep into the mysteries of clay, and I hope you’ve found the guidance as valuable as a chest full of septims. To recap our epic quest:

  • Understanding Clay: The unsung hero of the Hearthfire DLC.
  • Locating Clay Deposits: They’re closer than you think, especially near your homestead.
  • Mining Techniques: From pickaxe wielding to the art of extraction.
  • Blueprints and Building: Crafting your dream abode, one brick at a time.
  • Monitoring and Management: Keeping an eye on your resources.
  • Expansion and Customization: Making your mark in the land of the Nords.

Now, as every quest in Skyrim leads to another, I urge you to delve into the “What Next?” section. Your journey with clay is just beginning!

What Next?

I always believe in leaving fellow Dragonborns with actionable steps, ensuring your journey is ever-evolving. Here’s what you can do next:

  • Experiment with Designs: Try building different parts of your homestead.
  • Seek Out Other Materials: Explore quarries for stones or forests for logs.
  • Engage with NPCs: Some might offer valuable tips or even help in construction.
  • Document Your Journey: Take screenshots or notes of your building progress.
  • Join Online Forums: Share your experiences and learn from other Skyrim enthusiasts.


Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

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