WEDGING- the process of kneading pottery clay to remove air bubbles, mix it to consistency, and align the clay particles to aid in throwing.
Two Wedging Techniques
Take a ball of clay and slap it down on the table. Slice it in half with a wire clay cutting tool. Flip the top half upside down and slap it down hard onto the bottom half. Repeat this process as many times as it takes until the clay is smooth, consistent, and air bubble free. Be sure to slap the clay down hard to prevent air from getting trapped between the two pieces.
This is a great opportunity to check the consistency of the clay. Look at the cut surfaces. Run your finger across the surface. It should be smooth. It should have an even color (dark stripes usually imply dryer areas of clay). It should have no holes caused by air bubbles. If it isn't perfect, keep wedging. This is the foundation for your beautiful ceramic pot.
This is a much more challenging method, but worth learning. It creates great results for you clay. Many potters prefer this technique because it lines up the flat, disc-shaped clay particles in a circular motion. This circular arrangement is perfectly suited to the circular motion of throwing on the wheel.
To spiral wedge think about doing the moon walk, only with clay. You're pushing the ball forward and downward into the table, while rotating the top of the clay backward toward yourself. Push down with your right palm, while lifting and rotating backward with the fingers of both hands. Then rotate the clay back toward you a 1/4 turn and repeat step one. Repeat this process until your clay is consistent.
When done correctly the clay will begin to form a spiral. You'll find a rhythm of rocking and pressing as you develop your technique.
Once your pottery clay is prepared, you're ready to get on the wheel and