Jiggering and Jolleying

Jiggering and jolleying are terms that describe a high productivity method of producing pottery shapes like plates and bowls. A ball of clay is placed on a rotating mold and forced to conform to the shape of the mold by bearing down on the clay with a profiled lever arm. The profile or shape of the lever arm determines one surface of the pot while the mold determines the other surface. The only difference between jiggering and jolleying is that with jiggering, the mold determines the inner surface of the pot and with jolleying the mold determines the outer surface of the pot. If a potter is offering virtually identical plates or bowls for sale, they may have been jiggered/jolleyed or slip cast rather than being thrown on a wheel. Ask him/her which technique has been used. All are legitimate techniques; however jiggered, jolleyed or slip cast pots will normally be less expensive because there is considerably less work involved. These methods of forming pots can also be carried out by people who are not as skilled as a potter and are favorite methods of increasing production using low cost labor.

© Frog Pond Pottery 2012