- Blackjack Tan Stoneware Clay
- Potter’s wheel
- Throwing bat
- Wooden rib tool
- Wooden knife tool
- Fetling knife
- Wire tool
- Shape cutters / clay stamp
Preparing The Clay
Weigh out desired amount of clay. (1 pound of clay was used for this sample.)
Prepare the clay by wedging it.
*Wedging is the process of pushing and pressing on clay to expel all air bubbles trapped in it and to bring the clay to a uniform, consistent moisture level.
Form clay into a sphere and slam it onto the center of the bat attached to the potter’s wheel.
Wet hands and clay.
Turn the potter’s wheel on and center the clay.
Open The Form
Insert one finger to start into the center of the clay.
Using fingers firmly pull the clay back towards the body creating an opening in the clay.
Repeat several times until the clay is the desired width.
Compress The Floor
Use the wooden rib to compress the floor of the form.
Insert the wooden rib tool into the opening and pull the tool back towards the body.
Pull the clay up from the bottom in-between fingertips to create the walls of the form.
Repeat until walls are the desired thickness and height.
Use a rib to help shape the walls of the form.
Use the wooden knife tool to trim away excess clay from the bottom of the form to shape the base of it.
Remove the excess clay with a felting knife.
Smooth the rim of the form with a wet shammy.
Slip a wire tool under the base of the form cutting it off the bat.
Allow the clay to dry to a leather hard state.
Measure out an opening for the sponge to fit into the container.
The opening should be wide enough to fit the sponge into, but measured slightly larger to allow for clay shrinkage.
The opening should leave a ledge for the sponge to rest on to allow for air circulation.
Cut out the opening shape using a felting knife.
Cut the shape on both sides of the form.
Decorate the exterior of the form by indenting, carving, removing, and or adding onto the form.
Allow the clay to bone dry.
*Bone Dry is clay from which as much water as possible has evaporated from the piece; if you hold it to your cheek, it will seem dry instead of cold and damp.
This clay looks and feels chalky and is very fragile; it is at this stage that clay pieces are fired in the kiln.
Fire the clay form in the kiln to bisque fire temperature.
*Bisqueware is an unglazed clay piece that has been fired in the kiln once at a low temperature and is ready to be glazed.
Apply glaze to the bisque form.
Fire the glazed form in the kiln.
*Glazeware is a clay piece that has been fired twice - once in a bisque firing and a second time in a glaze firing; it has a glossy or matte glasslike finish and a smooth texture.