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Throwing Plates that are consistent and that stack!


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Hey everyone! 

I am curious if anyone has any tips for throwing plates and keeping the curve/shape of the sides consistent so they stack well? I am a production potter and typically throw about 10-20 a time and they stack well- but it feels like every batch tends to be a little different. I would love to be able to keep the shape more consistent so customers could purchase more for their set a year (or whenever) later without worrying they won't stack right. Anyone else have this issue with plates? While I am of course all about the charm of each one being unique (hence why, after much thought, I don't want to move to a jigger/etc.)- I feel plates are the only piece for me where it is more of a functionality thing for them to match beyond diameter. I find that sometimes they end up stacking with all the pressure on the rims rather than feet- which perhaps is ok...but seems like too much stress on the rim over time.  I am thinking about some sort of shaped wooden/plastic gauge or something? Any suggestions are welcomed! I am curious how other production potters go about their plates. Thanks!

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I have thrown dinnerware plates for over 45 years. They stack the same now as then. They are all within 1/4 inch diameter (measure that when wet) the feet are all nearly the same. The feet is what makes them stack the same. Are your feet consistent ?? I have posted photos of my plates front and backs-shearch for that photo if you want to see.

They should not stack on the rims. Rims are not going to support them well. My guess is your feet are to small.Meaning not tall enough.  My plates are all glazed on the back side(except feet)

welcome to the forum .

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Just now, Mark C. said:

I have thrown dinnerware plates for over 45 years. They stack the same now as then. They are all within 1/4 inch diameter (measure that when wet) the feet are all nearly the same. The feet is what makes them stack the same. Are your feet consistent ?? I have posted photos of my plates front and backs-shearch for that photo if you want to see.

They should not stack on the rims. Rims are not going to support them well. My guess is your feet are to small.Meaning not tall enough.  My plates are all glazed on the back side(except feet)

welcome to the forum .

Thanks Mark! Ah-ha, that makes a lot of sense. I think I need to focus on a taller foot. I assumed that it was the rim getting in the way (hence focusing on that aspect of the form), but it must be that the foot is too short. Thank you! 

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 I made a set of dishes for myself,  I was having a hard time getting my plates to stack right,  I ran across an article about plaster throwing jigs.   I just made a jig for the large dinner plates,  the plates stack nice and tight after making them on the jig.     Denice

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I had a similar problem  @Amelia  Just the lack of consistency.  I rented a video from Good Elephant pottery which helped immensely  and another video from Deb Schwartzkophf.  Good Elephant stressed the measure measure measure technique and making sure your foot ring is in the right place.  Deb backed that up.  It has helped my plates quite a bit. 

 

Roberta

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Plates should stack well. I tried looking for my bottom of plate photo and gave up. I will try to find it on the laptop next 

heres a stack of dinnerware (a whole set from a few years back. 

My plates stack like this if I made them in 1975 or 2020- always the same style.

As  production potter making forms the same over and over you get the hang of it. It become second nature. Doing is the only way to learn it -the more the better.

Dinners plates 10 inch to 10 1/4 said 8 inch Daves porcelain cone 11 reduction

I call them Landscape

 

moreplates.jpg

Edited by Mark C.
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I'm probably one of the only one that doesn't much worry about plates stacking, as I make patens. However, if there were a reason to make stacking plates I would follow a few basic principles: Constant weight, constant clay consistency, constant inside diameter, constant rise in rim and finally constant rim diameter. Using some form of measuring tool would help in the beginning, flexible pointer arm or dragonfly. In the long run it is like throwing stackable bowls or anything else. I use devices like these at times when throwing some pieces, but I throw so often off the hump that they are not often used. I guess most of my stuff is one off!

 

 

best,

Pres

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23 hours ago, Denice said:

 I made a set of dishes for myself,  I was having a hard time getting my plates to stack right,  I ran across an article about plaster throwing jigs.   I just made a jig for the large dinner plates,  the plates stack nice and tight after making them on the jig.     Denice

Thanks Denice! I have definitely considered that method- as I feel like I see more and more potters doing plates that way. I’ll look more into it! Do you happen to have the article title? 

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23 hours ago, liambesaw said:

I threw a larger plate, fired it, and use it to set up my throwing gauge for plates.  They stack pretty well just throwing them all the same.

UEuoLky.jpg

Oh that’s smart. I always use a gauge but I think I like the idea of having a finished one sized at what they should be wet to compare with. Thanks for the tip! Lovely plates! 

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23 hours ago, Roberta12 said:

I had a similar problem  @Amelia  Just the lack of consistency.  I rented a video from Good Elephant pottery which helped immensely  and another video from Deb Schwartzkophf.  Good Elephant stressed the measure measure measure technique and making sure your foot ring is in the right place.  Deb backed that up.  It has helped my plates quite a bit. 

 

Roberta

Oh nice- thanks for those references. I will definitely look them up! 

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21 hours ago, Mark C. said:

Plates should stack well. I tried looking for my bottom of plate photo and gave up. I will try to find it on the laptop next 

heres a stack of dinnerware (a whole set from a few years back. 

My plates stack like this if I made them in 1975 or 2020- always the same style.

As  production potter making forms the same over and over you get the hang of it. It become second nature. Doing is the only way to learn it -the more the better.

Dinners plates 10 inch to 10 1/4 said 8 inch Daves porcelain cone 11 reduction

I call them Landscape

 

moreplates.jpg

Thanks Mark! I couldn’t agree more. I still don’t have enough practice with plates- but I am looking forward to giving them more attention. I really appreciate your tips! Gorgeous plates, too- thanks for sharing! 

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21 hours ago, Pres said:

I'm probably one of the only one that doesn't much worry about plates stacking, as I make patens. However, if there were a reason to make stacking plates I would follow a few basic principles: Constant weight, constant clay consistency, constant inside diameter, constant rise in rim and finally constant rim diameter. Using some form of measuring tool would help in the beginning, flexible pointer arm or dragonfly. In the long run it is like throwing stackable bowls or anything else. I use devices like these at times when throwing some pieces, but I throw so often off the hump that they are not often used. I guess most of my stuff is one off!

 

 

best,

Pres

Thanks Pres! 

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