Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: clay, pottery, process, production

So you know how much I love “free” clay?! So tonight I went to make some new work…
but my bags of reclaim were a bit too wet & squishy. And new bag of soda clay I grabbed
was a bit too hard. What to do?… mix them together of course! Instead of power wedging”,
I find it a lot quicker & easier to layer the two. I start by piling up thin layers of each clay.
You can actually see the layers of the clay when I cut the pile in half.

After cutting, you take one half and slam it down on top of the other half. Press them down
together, slam if necessary, and cut in half again. Take one half and place it on top of the
other half. Press down and squish together again. Repeat. Every time you re-pile and squish,
the number of layers doubles. Thus making the layers thinner & thinner each time.

Cut in half. Restack. Press. Squish. Repeat…. and see how the layer are getting thinner???

After cutting & layering the clay several times, the two separate layers kind of disappeared
and were ready for some wedging to finish mixing the two. Not finished wedging… just some
quick wedging to mix it all up!!! And to start thinking about what I was going to make?

Once the clay was all incorporated, wedged and ready to go…
I cut up the clay into smaller chunks and wedged them into balls for throwing.

So I threw some more “replenishment” pieces… and threw.. and threw… and threw…

So now I’ve got to get them all stamped, slipped & trimmed…
and dried so they can make it into my next bisque kiln coming up VERY soon!!!

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