As I mentioned, I am officially back on the wheel! If feels so great to be throwing again, too! My first project was making a communion chalice for Chris Bartell. (He and his wife, Anna, are letting me use part of their garage as my studio.) Chris is the worship and youth pastor at Faith Lutheran Church where we attend, and he commissioned me to make him a large chalice for communion. Here is my process. First, I made a small deep bowl about 6-7 inches in diameter. This will be the cup.
Next, I threw the stem for the cup to sit on. I did this in two parts so that I could maintain a better consistency in the thickness of the walls, as well as ensure that it would be lighter in weight. Since this was designed for congregational communion, the chalice is extra-large and I wanted to keep it as light as possible. Once both pieces were thrown I set them aside to dry to a “leather hardness” under loose plastic. After a couple of days under the loose plastic, the pieces were ready to trim and fit together as one cohesive unit. Now that is it done, the chalice is on the shelf drying naturally under a loose bit of plastic. The plastic is important because it slows down the drying process to ensure that the clay body dries as one unit. If part of it were to dry out quicker than another, the piece would risk cracking.