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How would you build this slab

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I tried once to do it, a couple of days ago, and the part that supports the straight slab collapsed during drying.  This is something that I will probably solve.


1. Shaping the bottom part

I have used a slab over towels and worked decently. The bad part is that this way I cannot add the support part of the straight slab. Or maybe if I calculate everything perfectly, I can add it from this stage.

2. Drying

I made two separate slabs - the bottom and the straight part, same thickness, but quite thick, 2 cm I think.

The bottom dried a bit faster than the straight part. I have added the support part of the straight slab

3. Connecting parts

I have connected the 2 parts using fresh clay, couldn't score and slip because of the weird connections parts. I am used to connecting straight parts. After a couple of days, the connections seem to resist but the edges loosened and lifted a little. I don't know what would happen if fired.

4. Water holes when being directly on the ground

Bonsai pots have feet so water will have a way to escape the pot. The slab is mandatory to have water holes and holes for wiring the trees. 

Deciding where the holes will be located and how water will escape is tricky.

How would an experienced potter approach this project?

Thank you.


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Sculpt the bottom/left/curved part of the base. Add whatever feet you need to the bottom for your drainage. Make the "straight/angled" slab to fit the other piece. Use some newspaper and scrap clay to support the straight slab as it dries and is fired. Use newspaper between your scrap clay and sculpted/slab parts; this keeps them from bonding together and is easily burnt off during the firing, or removed prior to firing. Make you support so that it can be removed; might need to make multiple little support legs. Looks to be unglazed, just stains. I would fire the piece with your support clay in it, and it may want to stick to your stains; if low fired, you might try a little silica sand in between the waste supports and finished product.

the design is kind of counterbalanced; the longer straight slab allows the "rounded" bottom of the curved piece to stand without having an actual foot ring or feet. This will take trial and error to find the right amount of weight to counterbalance.

It does look like the bottom portion does have a "arm" in the back which helps support the straight slab; you're gonna have a few smaller points to connect your two parts together so make sure those joints are nice and solid. Score, slip, and reinforce well; texture and sculpt to blend/hide the joint.

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