Wedging the clay of ceramic pottery


To actively
participate you will need:   

Pottery wheel (
electric or kick)
Sponge
Bucket of water
Cutting Wire
Wheel Bat

Use the bucket of
water to keep your clay and
throwing bat moist
during the throwing process.

Begin by placing
your bat on the wheel and securing.  
Wet your bat
slightly using your sponge.
Place your clay
ball firmly in the center of the bat.
Using both hands as
shown, begin spinning your wheel while
allowing the clay
ball to spin between your hands.

Press down in the
center of the clay ball and begin forming
a center  as in
image # 1 (far left) above.  
At the same time
pushing slightly inward applying light pressure,
 allowing the clay
to flow freely between your fingers

If the clay is
wobbling on the wheel head it is not centered
Begin the centering
again

Be sure to keep
excess water sponged from the clay,
while at the same
time being careful not to dry your clay out too much.
Finding the right
clay consistency takes practice.

Once you have a
center formed,
you are ready to
begin pulling the walls up.
Position your hands
on your pot as shown above:
Using the side of
your right thumb as a lever and
the left index
knuckle guide your clay upward
with the motion of
your wheel.
    
 Remember to keep your clay moist, not saturated.  
 
To accomplish this,
try using a small flexible sponge.

Continue forming
your shape using your hands to mold and guide your clay.

Use your wire
cutter and gently slide under your pot
separating the clay
bottom from the bat.
Set the piece aside
and allow to dry on the bat.

Working with clay
is like a dance,
your clay and hands
have to move together.

Study and practice
the above images.
This technique just
like a dance, requires practice.
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