Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Foot wedging; fresh sweetness

Mr. Oh has a pug  mill, but this beautiful pink clay that we've shown before has too many rocks in it to run through the pug mill.  Therefore, we needed to mix it with shovels and feet on the floor.  First, we dumped the clay on the floor (with some mixing, this clay is good to go right out of the ground), and used shovels to break up big chunks.
Next we slung water over it to wet it down.  (note pink water pan)
Then we sprinkled water over one bit of clay at a time, and chopped the water into it.  We scooped each section onto the growing mountain of clay you see in the front.  This part really reminds us of the way Naomi's dad makes pie crusts.
After letting the dampened clay rest and soak overnight, we began the foot wedging process.  Onggi potters use much harder clay than this, so instead of foot wedging, they would use a wooden mallet.  Mr. Oh says that two men would move 5 tons of clay by hand every day in this way.  He got us started with his masterful foot wedging technique. The pictures are pretty self-explanatory for how this goes...




It's so beautiful!
Lastly, we shoveled it all back into a big mound, where we'll keep it wrapped in plastic till we use it all up.  We'll leave you with this, the message at the bottom of the water pan:

2 comments:

mahanpots said...

I love the pattern that the foot wedging has left behind.

You mention that the clay has too many rocks for the pugmill. Do the rocks hurt your feet when foot wedging?

Great pictures. What kind of floor are you wedging on?

Michael

camchris1 said...

Hi Guys! I am really enjoying your blog. I am also extremely envious of you both!! Some old friends from Houston stopped through austin recently. They had been in Korea for several years working and brought Jaime and I a couple small pots. Nice but lacking in the studio potter qualities I see on your blog.

Really looking forward to seeing the pots you make while your there. I hope some return to the states!!

Happy Holidays! Chris Campbell