Roller-head machines are used for shaping wares on a rotating mould

Roller-head machines are used for shaping wares on a rotating mould, as in jiggering and jolleying, but with a rotary shaping tool replacing the fixed profile. The rotary shaping tool is a shallow cone having the same diameter as the ware being formed and shaped to the desired form of the back of the article being made. The roller-head machine is now used in factories world-wide. RAM pressing is a factory process for shaping table wares and decorative Jug Mould ware by pressing a bat of prepared clay body into a required shape between two porous moulding plates. Granulate pressing is the operation of shaping pottery by pressing clay in a semi-dry and granulated condition in a mould. The clay is pressed into the mould by a porous die through which water is pumped at high pressure. Granulate pressing, also known as dust pressing, is widely used in the manufacture of ceramic tiles and, increasingly, of plates. Slipcasting is often used in the mass-production of ceramics and is ideally suited to the making of wares that cannot be formed by other methods of shaping.

The potter's wheel is a ball of clay is placed in the center of a turntable, called the wheel-head, which the potter rotates with a stick, or with foot power, or with a variable speed electric motor. During the process of throwing the wheel rotates rapidly while the solid ball of soft clay is pressed, squeezed, and pulled gently upwards and outwards into a hollow shape. The first step, of pressing the rough ball of clay downward and inward into perfect rotational symmetry, is called centering the clay, a most important skill to master before the next steps. The potter's wheel can be used for mass production, although it is often employed to make individual pieces. So now that you have a little bit of history, go have fun making your hand painted pottery.

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