Last year we poured a big concrete patio. John built a slick smooth form and we poured a concrete wedging block.
I finally retired the old plaster block. It was very worn, plus it wouldn't let go of the red clay contamination. Cinder blocks are a safe sturdy foundation for the heavy concrete block. I could totally do the smack down and this thing wouldn't move at all. The surface is just smooth concrete. No polishing required. It's very similar to wedging on plaster. It wicks moisture big time, so I usually wipe the surface with a damp sponge prior to wedging my clay. This new concrete wedging block Rocks! I love it. Should have gone with concrete years ago.
I love the beginning of a new making cycle. After reflecting on the good and bad from the last firing, I can now go forward to make even better pots and incorporate new ideas. I love making mugs, so I always start a new cycle with my favorite form. See my DirtKicker Pottery Etsy Shop for Romantic and adorable Mugs.
In the Book "The Complete Guide to Mid-Range Glazes" John Britt writes about reading cones, "The perfect arch of self-supporting cones is when it is bent to the top of the flared triangular base". He goes further into the subject with illustrations, photos and lots of great information. If you don't already have John's new book, you need to stop what you're doing and order it right now.
I found this video from Orton. It was very enlightening.