How to Prepare Clay for Pottery

Preparing clay for pottery is a bit time consuming but ensures your finished project will be successful. Being patient and following a few steps makes clay easy to manipulate and ready to use. When clay is properly wedged and free of air bubbles, firing finished products will have positive results.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean work surface
  • Cutting wire

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Clear work area of all dried clay and make sure work surface is dry.

Cut a selected amount of clay appropriate for your project from block of clay using wire cutter. Form the clay into a ball using your hands.

Start wedging or kneading the clay. Roll clay away from you by pushing down and away, then roll back to you while putting your weight on it. This process removes air bubbles from clay. Wedge clay for at least two minutes.

Using wire cutters, slice clay ball in half and check for pockets of air or bits of dried clay. If there are any air bubbles, press clay together back into a ball and continue to wedge.

If there are no air bubbles, press clay together tightly and form into a ball by rolling on work surface. Put moderate pressure on clay while forming the ball.

Clay is now ready to use for either wheel throwing or hand building. If you do not use all your wedged clay, make sure to keep it moist by covering with damp towels.

References

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