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nancylee

Can you talk to me about plates?

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Hi all,

I am trying to get 4 plates made for my niece's engagement party next weekend. I have thrown about 4, and I am terrible at throwing plates! They all come out different widths! I like to throw, and usually prefer throwing over hand building, but am I better off just hand building some plates and then putting a foot on them? Are there any big differences in the final product? Thanks much,

Nancy

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Hi all,

I am trying to get 4 plates made for my niece's engagement party next weekend. I have thrown about 4, and I am terrible at throwing plates! They all come out different widths! I like to throw, and usually prefer throwing over hand building, but am I better off just hand building some plates and then putting a foot on them? Are there any big differences in the final product? Thanks much,

Nancy

 

 

When throwing plates, you can become more consistent size wise by weighing out the amounts, 4-5 lbs. use calipers if it is important to get same size. Use wetter clay to throw plates than you normally use. Watch rim thickness, and make certain after opened up to compress the bottom well-I use a large wooden rim that is curved slightly for mine laying it on its side partway. Throw on bats to aid in removal. If you are doing these things, I don't know what the problem is, but maybe this will help. Considering the time frame you are talking about here, you may find rolling out a thick slab, placing it on a bat, trimming to size compressing the bottom, and then lifting a rim easier. I don't know. Plates do take some practice. Hope I could help you.

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Pres said(When throwing plates, you can become more consistent size wise by weighing out the amounts, 4-5 lbs. use calipers if it is important to get same size. Use wetter clay to throw plates than you normally use. Watch rim thickness, and make certain after opened up to compress the bottom well-I use a large wooden rim that is curved slightly for mine laying it on its side partway. Throw on bats to aid in removal. If you are doing these things, I don't know what the problem is, but maybe this will help. Considering the time frame you are talking about here, you may find rolling out a thick slab, placing it on a bat, trimming to size compressing the bottom, and then lifting a rim easier. I don't know. Plates do take some practice.)

I think this covers it all -use calipers to bring it out to the final withh and use bats-Make them thicker than you think and trim the excess off making the foot.Plates are yet another learned skill. Maybe do some salad plates to get the hang of it on a smaller form.

Mark-

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I just made the first dinner set I have made in a couple of years. I didn't lose one plate and I was throwing Frost. I ended up with a set of 8 place settings and a few extra plates.

http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/index.php?app=gallery&module=images&section=viewimage&img=2527

 

Like Pres says, weigh the lumps to be equal. center, flatten with a fist, open and keep it flat Keep the calipers there, before you start pulling/pushing out and and several time after. Rib the plate to relieve stress.

 

I use a chamois on the lip with a practiced edge and they are all the same. Dry slowly. Flipping them over to dry after they have firmed up enough not to sag.. I trim with a soft thin sponge in the center for support.

 

Marcia

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Thank you- lots of good suggestions! Are thrown players somehow "better" or more desirable than hand built ones?

Nancy

 

 

Nope. Good craftsmanship and design can be had both ways. In the examples below, the rice bowls are wheel-thrown, but the dinner and salad plates are handbuilt. No foot rings on any of these pieces. I use templates and molds so the production is very consistent.

 

Mea

 

post-1612-136926158975_thumb.jpg

post-1612-136926158975_thumb.jpg

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or, if you get totally frustrated doing something this difficult for a beginner with an unreasonable time limit,(the party is next weekend, it takes 36 hours to fire and cool my kiln) try making square plates. find a flat board of the size you want for the middle of the plate that is about 3/8 to 1/2 inches thick.

 

roll out a slab about a 1/4 inch thick or a little more if you are timid, make it at least 1 1/2 inches all the way around bigger than the board. you must have some bats, drywall or some plywood that is bigger than the entire thing. put the slab on top of the center board and roughly in the center of the flat plywood and drop the entire thing onto the floor from about knee high. when you see that the world did not end, you might try the next one from hip height.

 

make another slab, 1/4 inches thick and cut out feet with a cute small petit four cutter or if you can cut consistent squares of about an inch or so, do that. slip and score the feet and the plate corners and stick them down. write whatever you like on the bottom of the plate using a stylus, needles make a mess. if you have a pencil write with it after you dull the point. writing over plastic wrap makes it easy. practice first so you know how hard to press.

 

the funnest part is texturing the slab before you drop it. try a thick leaf or something appropriate to the occasion just on the rim. thick lace trim comes to mind.

 

next time get some foam rubber and press your center board into the foam with the clay under the board. more tricks will come to you.

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Old Lady, thank you for the trick! I am going to go out and try that right now!

 

Mea, I have admired your plates for a long time. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

 

Marcia, beautiful work! I covet them!!!

 

The pottery you make, and people in my class make inspires me to keep trying! And really, what present is better than handcrafted pottery? Thank you, all!

 

Nancy

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I was give a pure and simple hump/bat. But I suppose most plate hump mold will do.see ps pottery.com

 

Make large slab.

 

Center hump on wheel. Or use the keyed bat adapter from pure and simple pottery. I don't have pins so put a few balls,of,clay on bat....... Center hump mold.

 

If I did have pins, they have this bat adapter part of their system and viola automatically centered.

 

Drape slab over mold.

 

With wheel turning and wood tool, cut circle on clay/bat.

 

Ok here is where I go out of the box. I make slab slightly thicker then with rib coax a high spot where I want foot to go.

 

Another rib with 1/2 circle cut and viola foot. Cut small portion out x 3. So foot is in three pieces (cause some here said to do so).

 

Or paddle. Flat bottom.

 

Its plaster so it dries relatively quick.

 

Lather rinse repeat.

 

I'm really surprised that the ps pottery.com products aren't getting more play in pottery world. for what you pay for a single bat you get a system that allows you to make an infinite # of molds. What I was given ( but I'd gladly now purchase) was a mold to make,hump molds, with special part to "key" the hump mold. Keyed bat adapter. All you have to do,is add mold soap and plaster.

 

I'm making more tommorow.

 

(I sound like a commercial) if you call them. Tell them i sent you ( maybe ill get some free stuff).

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Thanks Biglou. I am going to go look at that. I kind of undertnd what you are talking about, but I can't picture it.

Nancy

 

 

Not the product but same idea.

 

 

 

Ps. I making some plates for wedding present.....

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Hi all,

I am trying to get 4 plates made for my niece's engagement party next weekend. I have thrown about 4, and I am terrible at throwing plates! They all come out different widths! I like to throw, and usually prefer throwing over hand building, but am I better off just hand building some plates and then putting a foot on them? Are there any big differences in the final product? Thanks much,

Nancy

 

 

When throwing plates, you can become more consistent size wise by weighing out the amounts, 4-5 lbs. use calipers if it is important to get same size. Use wetter clay to throw plates than you normally use. Watch rim thickness, and make certain after opened up to compress the bottom well-I use a large wooden rim that is curved slightly for mine laying it on its side partway. Throw on bats to aid in removal.

 

 

The one thing I'd add to this is that you can throw plates WAY thinner than you think. My first efforts were all chunky... I just didn't believe that a near-eggshell thin base would work.

 

Other than that, I'd plan on throwing a large series (10, 20 plates). Consistency is dramatically enhanced through repetition... and you'll also be almost guaranteed of ending up with a set that matches.

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I just made the first dinner set I have made in a couple of years. I didn't lose one plate and I was throwing Frost. I ended up with a set of 8 place settings and a few extra plates.

http://ceramicartsda...wimage&img=2527

 

Like Pres says, weigh the lumps to be equal. center, flatten with a fist, open and keep it flat Keep the calipers there, before you start pulling/pushing out and and several time after. Rib the plate to relieve stress.

 

I use a chamois on the lip with a practiced edge and they are all the same. Dry slowly. Flipping them over to dry after they have firmed up enough not to sag.. I trim with a soft thin sponge in the center for support.

 

Marcia

 

 

Your dinner set saved me a lot of work. About two years ago I bought a half ton of Frost and no matter how compressed the clay was or flipped during centering, etc., etc. I got cracks in the bottom of mugs, etc. and handles cracked. Frost is so wonderfully translucent that I kept struggling with it and finally solved the problem by adding a little paper to it and used Frost that way until on a post where I warned someone here that Frost would crack if you even looked at it, you said you had just done a dinner set out of Frost with no cracking. That first half ton is long gone so I threw a few wide bottom cylinders that would, without a doubt, have cracked with my old Frost but with new Frost with no paper in it there was no cracking. My conclusion is that I received a bad batch of Frost. So did another potter in my area. Had you not thrown your dinner set out of Frost I'd still be adding paper to mine. Thanks.

 

BTW, since the glaze on the set is opaque, why did you decide to do the set in Frost?

 

Jim

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I like Frost and use the transparency on carved vases and mugs. I bought 500 pounds in San Antonio ..all my mini clubman could carry.

I used 175 pounds for the dinner set and some other pieces. I still have some to work on carved pieces.

I like to get the 500 lb price break. I prefer 1000 or a ton but I was in San Antonio so I bought 500.

They didn't have it advertised on their website. I was just stopping in to see what they had at ceramic World. I usually buy in Austin or Houston or Baton Rouge for shipments. I can finish this batch up before it gets wiggy. (when the outside surface gets stiff and is difficult to wedge. Then I pug it.)

Also there is a lot of trimming with plates and I use the trimmings to make porcelain paper clay.

 

I asked Laguna about that. I told then this batch of Frost was a dream. What had they done to improve it. They told me nothing.

 

Marcia

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I learned long ago that dinnerware takes some time to process so now I keep a pile og bisque plates handy for orders
I shot them today for you-these are Daves porcelain from Laguna-I always stock a shiny glaze and a simi matt in each at my booth .
I flipped them so you can see my feet and my nubbin in center that I leave to catch the slump if it happens-I also sign the nubbin

Marcia yours look great I love that matt finish

Mark

post-8914-136933674686_thumb.jpg

post-8914-13693367552_thumb.jpg

post-8914-136933674686_thumb.jpg

post-8914-13693367552_thumb.jpg

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Thanks Mark. I put double feet on all the plates.

That matt green is a favorite glaze and my husband really liked the combination I made for his expresso cups, so I offered it to my niece. She liked it too. The recipe is in the gallery with the jpg of the green plate if anyone is interested. It is from Michael Bailey's book on Cone 6 Glazes.

 

Marcia

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Mark,

Those are beautiful - so perfect! Great workmanship.

 

Question: what are nubbins? And is slump when the plate bends? At what point in its creation does it slump?

 

Thank you for sharing your knowledge, all!

Nancy

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I call the small area in middle of foot a nubbin as it protrudes almost to the level of the foot and if the plate slumps during firing it stops moving as this raised spot hits the shelf and keeps the glaze are off shelf. The foot and the nubbin are waxed before glazing. Heres a fired plate with nubbin on some salad plates(one porcelain one stoneware) along with an older stoneware dinner plate from my set from 1973-back then I made my nubbins smaller.I sign the nubbin as its unglazed.

mark

post-8914-136937517569_thumb.jpg

post-8914-136937517569_thumb.jpg

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I leaned long ago that dinnerware takes some time to process so now I keep a pile og bisque plates handy for orders

I shot them today for you-these are Daves porcelain from Laguna-I always stock a shiny glaze and a simi matt in each at my booth .

I flipped them so you can see my feet and my nubbin in center that I leave to catch the slump if it happens-I also sign the nubbin

 

Marcia yours look great I love that matt finish

 

Mark

 

 

Great looking plates, I like the nubbin idea. I usually have a double foo ring on mine, but those can get time intensive. I'll have to try the nubbin trick-thanks for posting.

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Thank you for that explanation. 1973! I am 51, so if I live to 91, maybe I will know half as much! smile.gif I regret so much that it took me so many years to find this.

Nancy

 

 

Have no regrets Nancy you have many years to work with clay ahead. I just found it when I was 18-dumb luck now at 60 I know less every day.

That dinnerware was made when I was in collage-I fired it at home as I had my own kiln while in school. I have been making plates a long time now-I used to make them paper thin but my customers called them potato chips and they broke to easy so since the middle 80s I have made them thicker to stand up to daily use. Supoer thin pots seem to be what you quest toward till you learn they are not very functional-This may take years to get to and some never get it.

Mark

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So Mark, the "nubbin" is to prevent against "sagging",due to the large open space, of a plate's foot ring?

 

 

Yes -porcelain can move at cone 10/11 a bit and this keeps them from touching down. Just something I have done for 40 years with plates and other forms-its something my work is known for besides super bright/colored glazes ans reasonable prices.

Mark

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