Wedging

Abu Ahmed.jpg

Abu Ahmed brings in a small amount of prepared clay from the courtyard. He works it in preparation for the wheel in an activity that potters call "wedging." The clay is rolled, folded, and rolled repeatedly on the low table. He seeks to make the lump homogeneous, to remove any large inclusions, and to pound out air bubbles. His tactic appears to be a modified "spiral wedging" as a way to prepare a larger amount of clay in a single effort.

This is much harder than it looks, both in terms of raw effort and technical skill. Abu Ahmed stands at the table, high above the clay and presses down on it, using his entire upper body to gain the leverage he needs.