Sunday, April 27, 2008

Throwing with Marbleized Clay

Feeling like I've neglected my wheel students this past week, I decided to demo with marbleized clay. I mixed three clay bodies together, wedged them briefly and threw three different forms - one for each of my classes. There are several important things to remember about mixing and working with this blended clay. First, make sure the the clays are the same consisitency (moisture). I usually start out with 3 slabs of the different clay, throw them down forcefully on top of each other at first (to eliminate trapped air in between each slab) and then begin the spiral wedging technique. I am very careful to wedge only 6 or 7 motions since overwedging will blend the clay too much. By slightly blending, you get a more interesting swirl pattern in your finished thrown piece. During the throwing process, the blended clay is hidden under a thin layer of slip that's created when you moisten the surface with water and throw. The magic appears when after the piece is thrown and sits to dry a little, you take your trimming tool and remove the thin layer of slip that covers the form. If you've not over wedged and wedged properly, your amazing one of a kind surface will appear. Above are the pictures of the process from start to finish. I also included pictures of the bowl and vase I made with the same technique. Many thanks to Mary Alice for taking the pictures with my tempermental camera!

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