The sponge is used to control the moisture in the clay by absorbing water from or adding water to it. After the walls are thinned the shape is made by exerting pressure inward or outward as one raises the hands to shape the pot.
My system worked pretty well. I could teach people to throw a pot fairly quickly and with ease. I and SusieQ both gave lessons and we rented space to those who simply wanted to work there. Eventually Whobe came for all her stuff and I had replaced most of it. The shop became a going concern.
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