Centering a large ball of clay.
It beings with smacking the clay with equal pressure from both sides while the wheel is turning very slowly. The idea is to squish in any corners and lumps and generally get the mass of clay into a cylindrical shape. It helps if your initial ball of clay is roughly round to begin with.
Next, I'm squeezing in to draw the clay upward. I'm not pulling the clay up, the force from my hands squishing in forces the clay to move up. That's an important distinction because if you pull the clay upward, you'll pull the whole chunk off the wheelhead and you'll have to start over and will be forever shamed.
Next, I'm applying downward, diagonal pressure with my right hand on the top part of the clay to move it back down. My left hand is there to contain the clay as it comes down.
Next, I'm using my fingertips to do a final centering on the piece. I don't tend to do a bunch of wheel wedging... Up down up down up down. I haven't really found it to be useful and you use a lot of energy moving the clay so much. So once is enough for me, but you can do it as many times as you like.
The mass of clay ends up as a kind of tall, squat cylinder. If you're going to make a vase, you want that initial centered mass of clay to be taller than it is wide because the vase will be taller than it is wide. If you start with a very low and wide mass of clay, you're just going to have to move the clay into place later and that's going to be troublesome.
I'll post the video of me actually throwing the vase next.
This is about 2x speed.
More throwing videos ---> #ChrisCaseyArtThrowing
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