Stack and Slam Wedging: How to Stack and Slam Clay

Video tutorial for stack and slam wedging

How To Guide for Stack and Slam Wedging

stack and slam wedging result

Stack and slam wedging is one way to prepare the clay that you use to make pottery. It is a great technique if you need to combine different kinds of clay. It is also good for making the clay an even consistency. It will help remove some air bubbles from the clay but not as well as ram’s head wedging or spiral wedging. You may really like stack and slam wedging if you have a lot of recycled clay or have wrist or shoulder pain, or just don’t like ram’s head wedging or spiral wedging.

Get two pieces of clay

stack and slam wedging step 1

The two pieces of clay can be two different clay bodies that you would like to combine, old and new clay of the same type or even one large piece that you have cut in half. The two pieces can be different amounts of clay but should be roughly the same length and width to start with.

Stack one piece of clay on the other

stack and slam wedging step 2

Place or slam one piece of the clay down on top of the other. Make sure there are no indentions or wrinkles on the surfaces that are contacting each other so no air is trapped in between the two pieces.

Slam the clay down

stack and slam wedging step 3

Pick up the two stacked pieces of clay together and slam them down onto a sturdy, non-stick surface such as concrete, plaster, or canvas covered board. The two pieces of clay should be smashed together well. If needed, flip the clay over and slam the opposite side down. Continue slamming until the clay is less than half as tall as it is long or wide. The flatter the better.

Turn the clay up on it’s side or end

stack and slam wedging step 4

When the clay is relatively flat, turn it up on the side or end to make it easy to cut. You can also slide the wire tool halfway under the clay without turning it up on the end.

Cut the clay in half

stack and slam wedging step 5

Cut through both layers of the two original pieces of clay that are now smashed together.

Repeat stack and slam as needed

stack and slam wedging step 6

Put one piece of the cut clay flat on the work surface. Stack the other piece on top so the two original pieces of clay make 4 alternating layers of clay stacked on top of each other. Repeat the steps of stacking, slamming, and cutting until the clay is mixed well or consistent enough for use. For most clay, 20-30 repetitions should be enough. You can also finish mixing and removing air bubbles with ram’s head wedging or spiral wedging.

Tools:

  • Sturdy, non-stick work surface
  • Wire tool

Materials: Clay

stack and slam wedging - how to stack and slam clay

Other Tips For Stack and Slam Wedging

Other Names

Stack and slam wedging is also known as wire wedging, cut and slam wedging, or slice and slam wedging.

Standing is preferred

Work on a sturdy surface that is waist high or slightly higher. Keep your back straight and do not bend over while stacking and slamming.

Don’t try to stack and slam too much

You can stack and slam quite a bit of clay at one time, especially compared to ram’s head wedging. But to avoid injury, do not try to lift too much clay at one time. You can stack and slam multiple smaller pieces instead of one huge one.

You can slam one piece of clay onto the other as you stack it.

Instead of stacking one piece of clay neatly onto the other then picking up both to slam them down, it may save time to slam one piece of clay onto the other as you “stack” it.

Use ram’s head wedging or spiral wedging to finish

You can remove the rest of the air bubbles with ram’s head wedging or spiral wedging which can be more efficient at pressing all the air out of the clay. If you are mixing two different kinds of clay you can stack and slam the two pieces a few times and then using ram’s head wedging or spiral wedging to finish mixing the clay. The most efficient combination will depend on how fast you ram’s head wedge clay vs. how fast you stack and slam clay.

Learn More About How To Make Pottery

If you enjoyed learning about stack and slam wedging, be sure to view the articles about spiral wedging and ram’s head wedging. But know that wedging is just the first step to begin making pottery! You can learn all the steps for pottery making and the popular techniques that many potters use. You can also sign up for the Making Pottery Email List below:

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Thanks for reading!

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