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At a local event two women asked me if I had garlic plates.  I asked for a description.  I came home and looked them up, of course, and decided to try some.  I made four last night, but without seeing one for real, I won't make more.  Of course they wanted to see some at my next event in two weeks!  THAT won't happen, but I'll get a type perfected within the next couple of months and be ready for the autumn season. 

 

The idea is that the center of the plate is rough or has a texture such that a clove of garlic can be rubbed/grated/pulverized and then olive oil poured over it for dipping with bread hunks.  I'm not particularly good at making plates, so I'm considering this a good reason to get some practice. When I made the few last night, I made concentric ridges in the center.  They were too rough, so I damp-sponged them to soften the edges and when I did that, I smeared some of the clay down into the grooves.  After thinking about it for a bit, I decided that maybe the ridges or texture should be done at the time of trimming when the plate is in its leather stage and any little nubs of clay could be brushed out or allowed to dry and then flicked out. Some of the pictures I see online are of just unglazed areas for the grating and others are of almost fingernail sized waves that look pushed up in a circular design.  Those look as though they'd hurt fingers and make for coarser grating, but again, without seeing one in 3D I can't get much of an idea; only imagination.

 

So ... have you made garlic plates?  If you have, do you mind sharing how you make the grating part and how big you make the plates.  Are they well received at shows or in shops?  No one else in my region is making them that I know of, so maybe I have an opportunity here for something new! 

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I just googled garlic plate images and was amazed at how many different types there are ... I've actually seen them in kitchen stores but never known what they were. I would buy two different ones since I would likely use one in cooking and another type for serving with bread at the table. The cooking one would be deep and have a spout ... The table one would be wider to allow more access.

 

One way I would try to make the design is to let your carving tool create concentric circles in the middle at the end of throwing then slow the wheel and pull across ... like a clock face??

D.M.Ernst likes this

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The general concept has been in Japan for a long time: http://justhungry.com/suribachi-japanese-grinding-bowl-or-mortar

The town of Mashiko is well known for these.... in fact this one is a Mashiko product.

 

Or you can go full bore "Late NIght TV.......but wait... there's more" :  http://ceramicgrater.com/

 

Seems to me the fine lines like in the suribachi would tend to grate the garlic better.  Simple to do.

 

best,

 

.....................john

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john, I have seen that kind in Asian grocery stores for years.  it is definitely a kitchen staple for good cooks. 

 

the garlic plate might better be called an oil dish since it is put on the restaurant table for keeping impatient diners busy while their meal is being prepared.

 

agree with chris, concentric circles in the center, or a change of pace, concentric rings off centered might be fun.

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Here are a couple pictures of my the plates I made last night with the concentric circles.  I think I should probably wait until I trim them next time (I mean when I make the next ones) and make the circles or designs at that time.  Parallel squiggle lines would be fun, too.  When the clay is soft, it doesn't seem to work nicely.  That's what I was trying to describe in the original post.  I make the circles and then when I try to soften the edges a little, the soft clay runs down into the grooves and makes them uneven, even using just a barely damp sponge.  The picture of the best of the four wouldn't load.  I got a note that said the file was too big.  I think you get the idea, though. 

 

Yes, these are serving pieces.  I think I said that in the original post, too, but I have a tendency to be too wordy and people skim read.  My problem, but I'm from the Deep South and can't even say hello in fewer than 25 words.  LOL.  I make bowls better than I make plates, but don't know how to make pestles, so guess I'll stick with plates (dishes?).

 

I'm getting a great education here.  What's the difference between a plate and a dish?

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I'm wondering if taking a little wooden punch and pushing teeth up like a rasp maker would do might work.

Using a piece of metal to chatter the inner part seems a logical way to do this. I'd also do a glaze line around the garlic grinding area and the rest of the dish/plate. That will help prevent glaze from running down the sides into the center.

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Attended a workshop with Tony Clennell this past weekend; he always leaves attendees with any number of quotable quotes. One seems appropriate here:

 

"The better they work in the kitchen, the less money you'll get." (Can you get any lower than $9.99 for a set, plus $6.99 shipping/handling?)

 

His other top quote was:

 

"No body needs anything we make."

jkb likes this

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(Can you get any lower than $9.99 for a set, plus $6.99 shipping/handling?)

 

One of the reasons I posted that link was that very fact.  If you are competing on price, that is the competition.  You'll lose that battle every time. 

 

best,

 

.........................john

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I saw these being demoed at a home show a few years ago. I noticed the presenter just used the large cloves of garlic and would only be able to grate about 1/2 of it before his fingertips met the dish. He sold them with a little brush to get the minced garlic off the sharp little prongs. It was glazed all over and the prongs were really sharp. I would worry about the liabily of them breaking off and landing up in the garlic.

 

I've also seen little sauce boats with the sharp prongs just below the handle, so you would grate the garlic right into the vinaigrette for salads. 

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The suribachi plate above is amazing! Did they make those small lines with a brush or a comb? Trying to decide if they did it at the leather hard stage or a few hours after they threw the bowl. Either way the bowl is beautiful, definitely gonna try to find a small comb or brush to do that kinda work. 

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general concept has been in Japan for a long time: http://justhungry.co...-bowl-or-mortar


The town of Mashiko is well known for these.... in fact this one is a Mashiko product.


 


We have two of these and use them for many things-they work great


As a potter I enjoy using others work as well and this is one of those items


You can get them in Japan town San francisco next time you are there or Japan town LA or in Vancouver Canada or at your local Japan store


in the midwest.


Mark

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the only cooking class I ever took was Chinese cooking.  the instructor simply put the garlic on the edge of the  work surface and smashed it with the side of the meat cleaver.  the flaky skin was pulled off and the rest scraped into whatever was being made. you have to do this near the edge so you do not hit your hand on the countertop.

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I have a friend who makes these and she has thick slip in a bottle and pipes a spiral of dots in the center of a small dish/plate.  She sells a buttload of them.

Oh, that's a good idea!

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