Monday, May 11, 2009

Around The Shop In Several Days II

Actually, I ran my shop for nearly 15 years without a pug mill. Back then I had to "wedge" all the clay. Wedging is done on a heavy canvas-covered-plaster table with a wire (in my case, a guitar string) strung across it.

In order to homogenize the clay, one cuts the clay into smaller pieces and then slams them back together on the canvas. After successively cutting and slamming, the clay is then sort of "kneeded" in a spiral. I say "sort of" because kneeding actually puts air into bread dough, but the motion of clay wedging is to roll the clay in a spiral in a manner that doesn't put air into the clay.

I still do a good bit of wedging. When making handles, the clay is better when the particles have been lined up in that spiral that wedging creates. The clay tends to adhere to itself better when pulling a handle from wedged rather than pugged clay.

Tomorrow, handles....

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