Plate making workshops

I am planning a new series of workshops  in my studio in Dudley Road, Hastings.  The plan is to make a series of plates using paper plates in different sizes as slump molds.  Plates are great canvases for surface decoration and we’ll experiment with paper stencils and lace, sprig molds, underglaze and oxide designs as well as trying out different glazing techniques.

We start by  rolling out a slab to a desired thickness of about  1 to 1,5 cm . When rolling out a slab it is a good idea to start by throwing it across the table in different directions until it is somewhere close to 5-6 cm thick. Roll the clay with the rolling pin, taking care not to roll excessively over the edges as they may get too thin. Roll two or three times on one side and then flip it over and roll some more. Leave the slab to dry to a soft leather-hard stage. The clay needs to be able to bend without cracking, but you don’t want it to be so soft that you leave fingerprints in your clay as you work.
Choose the size of your plate and place it upside down to use as a template for cutting the slab.
As you cut, keep your knife perpendicular to your work surface to create a square rim. Remove excess clay and smooth out the rims by sliding your finger across the edge of the rim.
Flip the clay slab, smooth the top edge then place it into a paper plate, lining up the edges.

Experiment with pressing the clay into the paper plate with your hands or you can sandwich your clay between two plates.  The plate you are creating will have a different look depending on your
chosen method.
Allow the plates to dry to leather hard in the bottom paper plate,  and then check if they stack together nicely and if they sit on the table without rocking. If not, you will need to damp them up a bit with a flower mister or a wet sponge and then put them back in the mold to straighten them out. Next,  check  the rim of each plate to see if it needs shaping or smoothing down. You may want to write your name at the bottom of the plate at this stage.

To sign up for this workshop or any other, please go here


About Anna

I am a ceramic sculptor living on the South coast near London, England. My work is influenced by my experience of the earth as a living being and seeing how we are all connected with eachother and with the things that surround us. I create ceramic torsos using molochite clay which I often smokefire in galvanised dustbins. I also make House Gods to protect and amuse, and Fat Birds - little smokefired sculptures that tell the story about what it is like to be a fat bird at peace with its surroundings.
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