Wednesday, November 11, 2009

2009-11-04 Wednesday - Clayworks

I am not what you'd call a master wedger...

or even a novice wedger...

or even someone who can wedge.

For the folks who don't think about clay every 22 and a half seconds, wedging is allegedly what is done to the clay to take the air out before working with it. I have never mastered it or even come close. My best clay is straight out of the bag after smacking it on the floor several times. Once I use some clay and (attempt to) re-wedge it, the bubbles make me miserable. One day I will really have to learn how to consistently wedge the air out of my clay.

Pictured here is a (choke, cough) wonderful wedging example I achieved the other night. I was in a hurry and was re-wedging about ten pounds of clay while having a conversation. For some reason I suddenly decided to check the consistency of the clay. Not only did I leave an air bubble, but it looks like I had a dowel in the clay while I was wedging it. Someday I will achieve wedge-vana...

Looks sort of like a geode.

Greg stayed after class to finish some pieces.
(and laugh at my wedging!)


Michael Kline said...

Dear jbf aka, the geode wedger,

With pugged de-aired clay you may not knead to no how to wedge. Just like spelling, who kneads it when I have spell checker?!

(Just having some fun with you!) That clay geode is amazing. I've never seen that one.

BTW, what is that tangle of wires/cords in that bottom picture. I think that must be what Greg is laughing at!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

wedging is like oatmeal I guess, its GOOD for you :)

jbf said...


I knead a pug mill AND a spell checker.

That tangle carries the automated legs to kick our wheels. :8^)

I am NOT putting raisins and brown sugar in my clay. :8^)

ang said...

wow thats some technique!!

Linda Starr said...

ok I am speaking heresy, but I don't wedge freshly purchased blocks of clay for my hand built pieces. I just cut off a slab or a block and start working it into a slab built piece and I recycle as I go along, in the end if I have a tiny bit left over I wedge that. I figure a machine can wedge much better than I can from the start. Geodes are pretty though.

jbf said...

Thanks. I'm terribly proud of it.

I agree completely. The purchased clay is great. I smack it on the floor (in the bag) a few times to "wake it up", but then it's right to the wheel.