Immy is responsible for ensuring the clay is at it’s optimum condition ready for our customers to use on the potter’s wheel. Here she explains the process of clay preparation:
“Before any piece of clay is put on the potter’s wheel, we must ensure it is the correct state for our customers to throw their creations with. We do this by wedging the clay. Wedging, or kneading the clay, involves using your hands to roll the inconsistent clay in a smooth motion. By doing this we are pushing out any air bubbles that may be hidden in the clay, air bubbles can crack customers pots or be dangerous to put into the kiln.
Another reason we wedge is clay is to make sure it is the right consistency to throw with. It would be almost impossible to create a pot on the potter’s wheel with a piece of clay that is too hard or too soft!
We never waste any clay in the pottery. The bits that fly off during centering, the leftover parts from a pinch pot, the soggy stuff you find at the bottom of buckets, all unused clay is collected together and wedged back into a nice consistency for the next person to use.
If the clay becomes too hard to wedge, we do a process called slicing and dipping. As the name suggests, we slice the hard clay, dip it into a bucket of water, pull it back out and place it into a fresh bag. The clay is then for a few days to absorb the water. After that it is taken out of the bag and wedged together!”