Before you get started working with clay, you’ve got to wedge your clay! Wedging clay is one of the very first things we do in Claydreamers pottery classes. It may take a while to master, but it can be a very satisfying task to complete.
Preparing your clay for wheel work or hand building requires a bit of effort and is usually best done standing. We want to to create a firm, uniform consistency in the clay we use. Any small bubbles of air left in the clay can wreak havoc on the wheel, creating weaknesses and lack of uniformity. Also, in the kiln, air bubbles in finished work can cause the piece to crack, shatter or at worst, explode. That’s why wedging your clay is so important.
There are a few different ways to do it. Some potters throw their pieces down firmly on the table repeatedly, but I prefer a simple wedging technique, pushing the clay forwards, kneading the clay over itself, and turning it regularly. The work surfaces at Claydreamers are made from cement sheeting and are perfect for wedging as the clay doesn’t stick. Depending on the amount of the clay you’re using, somewhere between 25 to 50 wedges should do the trick!