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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Divide and Conquer...and Divide...and Div...(Snore)

Two days later and I have finished processing the clay.

There it all is. By this stage it has been divided and wedged 4 times. I do this because it means that it is all evenly soft. I have found if I don't divide and re-wedge when I come to throw I'll have some soft and some hard weighed balls making throwing difficult.
(Just in case you don't realise what I'm talking about: In this case I have 16 lumps of clay. Each of these I'll divide into 16 separate pieces. The next lump will be divided in to 16 and each piece will be added to each of the last 16 etc. Eventually I end up with 16 piles of 16 pieces. These are then wedged and then divided again).
I don't know how potters normally recycle clay. I was never taught so have had to learn from experience. Let me know if you have an easier way. All I know is that I have to end up with all the clay being an even texture.
This next pic shows how soft the clay is:

Nicely pliable, firm enough to hold it's shape without cracking at the edges.
I've ended up with just under 100kg (220llbs). Hard work but well worth it.
And here is the empty bin:

It's a great feeling. This is the first time since I built my workshop that this bin has been empty!
Before I finish I should show you what I found in the clay this time:

Once again a piece of chamois and, like last time, I pulled out a pin. How I've not stabbed myself yet I don't know!
As I trudged back into my house I took this pic:

I've been saving the last of my Wife's tomatoes to make a big batch of sauce. They are mostly ripe; there are still a number on the plants and I expect we'll be fighting over them soon. My Wife for green tomato chutney and me for sauce. I made some a few weeks ago which worked as a ketchup, a pizza sauce and as a pasta sauce and am planning to make a lot more with these, when I can collect enough ripe fruit and find enough small bottles!
You can also see one the tea-light holders I threw is being used. 
Thanks for visiting and thank you for your kind comments and encouragement.


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