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Pottery Making: How to Make Plates and Platters – as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
Today, I am going to show you how to make a plate or platter. I will call this a platter. It is a little bit larger than a plate. This is more like a plate. And I will do a little twist to the platter. After I throw it, I am going to emboss it with some heavy emboss paper, so it has a really nice, decorative image on it. It is great for, I like to call these my fancy plates and they are wonderful for cocktail parties. You can put little hors d’oeuvres on them. Even put them up on your mantle piece, very decorative. Here is one that has been blazed in a chino and it pulls where it is deep and I have also carved in on the outside. And here is another one that is celadon and you can see the flowers in it and it is very light and delicate.
You start with a nice size ball of clay. This is a pretty big ball of clay, so I think it is going to be more of a platter than a plate. If you are making a set just get your balls of clay out and then ahead of time, measure them if you want, or eye them, make sure they all look about the same. You are going to want more flat than up and down. All right, so I am ready to start making my platter or plate. I have my sponge in my hand and I am going to put my fist down, have my other hand just hugging the side and I am going to push down and pull toward me. Now, as soon as the plate starts to drag, I know I need more water. You really have to have lots of water when you are pulling out a plate. I am just kind of keeping my hand there to help keep it centered.
All right, I am going to stop right here. Re-establish my wall. Take a rib and compress. Then I am going to pull the wall up. I think that is going to be a nice size plate. Before you level your lip, you are going to want to cut underneath the plate because you really will not have a chance to cut under afterwards. When you are throwing a plate, you always want to leave a lot of clay at the bottom so you can have a lot of leeway when you try to trim and put your foot on. So you will be trimming away a lot of the clay. Just kind of the nature of the game. I can do this anyway. When my walls are really tall, I use an instrument. A flat wood piece and bring it down. I am going to just do it with my hands right now. Nice lip. That is a nice plate. We can keep the center with wonderful little swirls. We can even it out but I think we are going to go ahead and do the embossing.
All right, so I have got my piece of emboss paper. When you do buy an emboss paper, do not get the metallic kind because it actually does not hold up well. This is shiny but it is not really metallic. It is just that I found that the metallic emboss paper just does not hold its shape. So I placed it. Just making sure it is not going to slip. I am going to take my rib and with some force. Now I am going to take my pen tool and lift the paper and there you have your beautiful design.
So now we have thrown our platter. We have to wait for it to dry until it is leather hard. We will flip it over carefully and trim the bottom. Once you trim the bottom, you let it dry slowly. You have to let these platters dry very slowly or else they might crack. Once they are dry completely, we will bisque fire them. Then we will choose our appropriate glaze such as a celadon and fire them to cone temperature and you have got yourself a very functional, beautiful and decorative platter.
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