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I'm briefly wedging up the clay taken from that bag that I want to throw, then divide into balls, then give a thorough wedge to each ball; from there, the balls sit under plastic - to limit dry spots - until it's time. fwiw, I turn the wedged ball to the right - right edge down, left edge up - as I turn clockwise - in the belief that goin' with the swirl makes a positive difference...

Many do not wedge clay taken straight from the bag; as Earth Nation fella says, try wedging then throwing, not wedging and throwing yourself; any difference for you? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zD1Grp_Yyo&t=664s

Other factors

  Wedging up the clay dries it out a bit, which is good when the clay's too damp.

  Slicing, misting (repeat as desired), then wedging ameliorates clay that's a bit too dry.

  Wedging up bits that don't match in moisture, ooh, that's essential! Wedge it up to homogeneity.

  Wedge wedge wedge to add sand, grog, or? Fling the stuff on your board, then pick up a smidgen with each rev.

I'm a beginner tho', ain' even been throwing a year yet.

Have fun!

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I wedge everything, it's too stiff from the bag and lots of times not homogeneous.  I do about half a bag at a time because my wedging board is tiny, otherwise I'd do the whole bag.  I can tell a big difference between straight from bag and spiral wedged.  I can even tell if I spiral wedge and put my ball on upside down.  I prefer to prepare my clay well instead of fighting it on the wheel.

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I posted this question because all this time I've told my beginning wheel students that they can cut blocks of clay right off the new bag and form into clay balls and start centering, never wedging the clay first.  After reading liambesaw response, I will have my beginners wedge their clay first.  It will make all the difference in the world.  Wedging will blend the clay to a uniform consistency and make it easier to center.

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Have them also slap center before turning on the wheel as well, that's slapping it with opposing hands toward center and into a cone, while spinning about 20 degrees with each slap.  It's cuts the centering fight for beginners to basically nothing and works really good for non beginners for helping centering large amounts of clay as well.  Used to be a challenge to center 10lbs now it's as simple as 3.

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I don't wedge out of a new bag of clay. I pound it a bit on a wedging board making the corners of the cuts rounded and get the shape into more of a cone or cylinder, flatten the bottom then round it out slightly and its ready for the wheel.

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I drop the bag on all 4 s long sides 1st (this is a key step) then cut it into the amounts I want to throw like 4 pieces or 8 or 12 or 48 for a pug of spooonrests.I already know those weights just by the number of cuts.. Then I throw it

I never wedge new clay anymore -I used to but have learned its not worth my time.

Now thats New pugs of clay not adding old and new clay together as that will Need wedging.

Edited by Mark C.

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I used to wedge new clay out of the bag; sometimes the clay had been sitting at the manufacturer or distributor for months, and I would find the outer perimeter of the block would be slightly harder than the interior. Doing like Mark says, eliminates some of that. If I didnt wedge it, I could just cone it up/down once or twice on the wheel and be good to go. Depends a lot on your proficiency as far as what will bother your throwing.

All of my clay goes through the pug mill; either to wedge it to remove moisture inconsistencies, to warm it up, to blend clays, or to recycle scraps.

If teaching beginners, I believe to always start of with the basics and then they can decide what to omit from their process from there. If you know the basics, you can do anything you want. If they never learn how to wedge, and then find they need to.....Or if they are struggling with inconsistent clay where wedging would have fixed this....

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3 hours ago, hitchmss said:

If teaching beginners, I believe to always start of with the basics and then they can decide what to omit from their process from there. If you know the basics, you can do anything you want. If they never learn how to wedge, and then find they need to.....Or if they are struggling with inconsistent clay where wedging would have fixed this....

I'm glad I was taught the main wedging techniques and the rational for each.  I rarely wedge bagged commercial clay anymore--a decision made by assessing things throughout a year or so.   I am not usually throwing pots. I've done all types of wedging-prefer cut & slam, for handbuilding and spiral when I do want to throw.  Rams head, OK for quick & small objects, otherwise don't care for it.  Of course, I am particularly fond of cracks, fissures, bumps, holes,  etc., so there is that! 

 

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