Pottery tip of the day:


Saltillo tiles are the VERY best thing to wedge on ever. I have a couple of dozen unglazed saltillo tiles in my studio (we put in a saltillo floor in our den and had a bunch of leftover tiles). For those of you who know saltillo — is is THE most absorbent thing in the world — much more absorbent than plaster. I wedge clay on it and it dries out clay in an instant. I reclaim clay between two pieces of saltillo (like an ice cream sandwich) and it will take jello pudding consistency clay and dry it out to wedgeable and throwable in 40 MINUTES!!! Utterly amazing! AND since it is clay, if a piece of it gets in your clay (unlikely) no problem like a piece of plaster would do! Saltillo tiles are a MUST in every studio. I have them on the shelves beside my wheel where I set stuff to dry. I use 4 inch ones for mugs and teabowls that I want to move around and set other places. Try it! Get REAL saltillo — not daltillo that Home Depot and Lowes sell now. Message me if you want a source of REAL saltillo. its a great earthenware clay tile from Mexico. If you can get the 4 inch ones and make a wheel sized plaster cast,they make great throwing bats,pots ready to turn over in an hour. No cut-off wires needed.


Once you squish the clay between two tiles, they will soon become totally stuck to the clay and no amount of prying will separate the saltillo tiles from the clay. SO you use your wire tool and run it under the tiles, top and bottom each, to take them off of the clay. You use your rib to scrape the clay off the tiles and mash it into your clay that is now ready to wedge. If the clay still seems wet, just sandwich it in again, and separate the tiles from it with your wire tool again in a little while. (Sorry! I should have mentioned that in the first post!)

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