Before using clay for a project, you need to prepare it by kneading it, also known as wedging. Kneading clay properly will make it easier to work with and will eliminate air bubbles. Upper body strength and strong hands are helpful when kneading clay. Use these tips to knead clay.
Purchase a quality clay. Find a clay that is soft enough to shape with ease. It should be hard enough that it won't stick to your hands when you draw them away from the clay. The clay should be consistent in color.
Select a porous kneading surface. Thick canvas cloth or dry concrete are suitable kneading surfaces. Canvas will keep the clay from sticking to tables and other surfaces. Ensure that the surface is clean, and is at a height that will allow you to be comfortable when pressing down on the clay.
Cut the clay. Use a clay cutter to slice the lump of clay in half.
Layer the clay.Slap one cut half of clay forcefully on top of the other. Press the top half of clay into the bottom half. Ensure that you do not leave space where air may get caught between the two halves.Arrange the halves so that their cut edges are both facing out to the left or right side when pressed together. Aligning the halves of clay will help free the clay of air bubbles. Cutting the clay and rearranging the layers ensures that all parts of the clay mix together evenly.
Alternate kneading the clay with cutting and layering it until you have kneaded the clay between 50 and 60 times.