When a potter takes their thrown form off the wheel there is a bunch of excess clay on the bottom of the piece where it was stuck to the wheel head. This clay isn't removed until the piece has had some time to dry to a 'leather hard' state. This is because we take the piece, flip it upside down and stick it to the wheel again so we can make the bottom as beautiful as we made the top.
This is called trimming.
I spent a few hours last night trimming to plates I threw on the weekend and thankfully none of them broke it collapsed!
Trimming is really addictive! Peeling off spirals of leather like clay, leaving little indents and shallows in the bottom of the piece, it's hard to know when to stop.
Here are some photos from my trimming, you can see that there was a lot of excess clay on the bottom of the plates because I couldn't get underneath the rim to clean it off while I was throwing.
-nicole is nicole