As clay dries it goes through a stage that a potter calls leather-hard. At this stage it can be carefully handled without damage, but can still be worked in certain ways. Bottoms of pots can be trimmed, a pot can be paddled or bent into a different shape, the pieces of a teapot can be put together, handles can be put on pitchers and decorative patterns can be carved in the clay. By covering the clay with plastic or sealing it in an airtight container, clay can be kept in the leather-hard stage for many days if necessary.

© Frog Pond Pottery 2012