Wednesday 29 January 2020

Draped slab ceramic serving dishes

In the late autumn last year I started making some draped slab serving dishes. My intention was to make them quickly and sell them at the xmas craft in December. Of course, things always take a bit longer than I expect, but they worked out fine. I had two formers, one of wood and the other of plaster, bowl-shaped and I overturned them in order to simply drape a slab over them, with a cling-film layer between the clay and the former.

I've been doing a new style of foot lately, in two pieces - two arcs making dishes "float" above a table surface.

I never took photos of how I attached the feet to the 2019 dishes, but I did for recent ones (note the date). After deciding where the clay arcs would be placed and tracing their outlines, the areas would be scored and slipped.

The feet are also scored and slipped, and after affixing to the dish, I lightly paddle them down (with a wooden paddle) in order to ensure that there is no air between the dish and the foot. This is usually apparent when some slip oozes from the joint.

Dried and ready for the first firing, here are two terracotta and one white buff draped slab serving dishes.

After bisque firing the pots are ready to glaze. I decided to glaze the underside of the dishes so the texture when handling wouldn't feel abrasive.

Though this may look like only one glaze, there are actually three different glazes on the terracotta dishes: a base layer of cobalt blue with splashes of two runny glazes (aquamarine and sea green).

I had already witnessed these colours interacting in a lovely way, and was not disappointed.

Both dishes were bought within two days of being for sale, so again I was pleased.

While I made a draped slab dish from white buffclay, I later made two smaller dishes from grey buff. I decided, since I was including them in the xmas fair that I would glaze paint a holly design on them.

I forgot to take pictures of the finished grey dishes before they sold, but they had a white glaze underneath the holly. The white buff dish simply has a clear glaze underneath the holly design. This dish is larger than the grey ones and I'll see it again on my Christmas table setting!

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