Since I was off of work today, I decided it would be a good day to work for myself and throw! It was actually a very dreary day, so I was quite content to sit at the wheel for a while. I started working on my first full set of dishware. I have several sketches of what I would like to make as far as designs go, so I started on one of them today.
I have been wanting to make my plates uniform in size, shape and design and was trying to come up with a tool or template that would assist me in doing so. I sketched out an idea of a tool that would match the shape of the plate I wanted and asked my dad for help in making it happen. From my sketch he made me a template for my plates (both dinner and lunch) that was the radius of the whole plate. Pictures below show how I am able to use it. Needless to say, the tools worked wonderfully – Thanks Dad! I started by measuring my clay out, so each plate would be the same amount of clay. Then, I centered the clay in to a thick flat disc and began to pull the disc wider to its desired diameter. Once the clay disc was at the right diameter, I smoothed out the center and evened the whole surface as best as I could. Then came my custom tools! Matching the end of my plate template to the center of the clay disc, I began to press the tool into the clay to create a nice smooth flat bottom and defined rim. I continued this process until the shape was just right and then trimmed the access off of the outside of the plate. I know that was sort of confusing, so I hope the pictures help to explain. I am happy to say I have found a great technique and system that works. My first dozen lunch plates were made, next come the dinner plates! My good friend and photographer, Anna Bartell, took these photos for me.