This is a problem that comes up all the time- two different clays that need to become one. Maybe you have some clay that’s too hard and some clay that’s too squishy. Or you have some stoneware and some porcelain (a great mix in the soda kiln!). It’s really hard to just wedge them together, and it’s a lot of trouble to put it through the pugger- especially if it’s just a small batch.
This will save your wrists from some stress and get out any aggravation that you might have at the same time.
Slam down onto your table (or wedging board) one type of clay on top of the other.
Then slice it in half through the middle.
And stack on top. (slam it down!)
And slice and stack (slam!).
Watch the clay mix together! It’s very satisfying to see the two different color clays mix like this.
Keep mixing until the slices of clay are really small (even smaller than this).
Once it’s mixed through the slice and slam process, then wedge.
It’s much easier to slam the clay down then wedge the big hunk that well. This method is really great for clay that’s too hard and too soft. It’s nearly impossible to wedge those two consistencies together. And as I mentioned above, a porcelain-stoneware mix is great for the soda kiln (or any other atmospheric firing). 50-50 is my favorite mix. Through a little extra sand in for extra orange peel.
Maybe this how-to will make your wrists a little happier.
I have recently done a little study of the high fire clay bodies from Continental Clay in Minneapolis. I made teabowls out of each of the clay bodies, and fired one in c. 10 reduction and one in soda (also c. 10 reduction). They are both glazed in a luster shino glaze which shows off the differences in the clay bodies beautifully. The c. 10 pots are glazed both inside and out with the shino glaze (left). The soda pots are glazed on the inside, and on the rim (right). There are 9 clays that I tested in total- so keep scrolling down… Enjoy!
**be sure to click on the images to see a much larger image and really see the details.**