Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Techniques -- Wedging

Whether you're a handbuilder or a wheel thrower, some techniques are universal (in my humble opinion).  One such technique is wedging.  

Wedging your clay well removes a lot of potential issue that you may encounter later on.  Yes, I am talking about the proverbial "air bubble".  The air bubble expand when it is heated in the kiln and the air will have to escape somehow.  The point of escape (aka the size of the hole it creates) depends on the size of the air bubble.  Wedging also aligns the clay particles so that it is more workable.  

All First Time Potter students are taught the "rams head" method of wedging but as your skills improve and you start to use more and more clay, the "rams head" method becomes quite unwieldy due to the sheer volume of clay you have to manage.  

For hand builders/sculptors, you are often left with quite a bit of clay as you hollow out your work.  In order to reuse those clay, a good wedging would be in order.

Anyway, more details about wedging can be found here and here.

Today's video demonstration is the "Spiral" wedging method.  This method lets you wedge a large amount of clay while only concentration on a small lump at a time.  The Japanese word for spiral wedging is "Kikumomi" which roughly translates to "Chrysanthemum wrinkles".

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