Over the winter, my thoughts turn to solving pottery problems, learning about new ideas and techniques. One reoccurring problem I have had was making large pet dishes (8 inches or larger in diameter). In almost every single instance, I would ruin the pet dish when taking it off the bat.
I hate it when the wire tool comes up through the bottom of the dish. Very frustrating!
It wasn’t until I had some extra time over the winter to research alternative ways of taking large pots and dishes off of the bat when I came across a discussion thread on potters.org: “How to get it off the bat?” . In short, the brilliant solution was to use a piece of canvas or heavy denim on the bat. Throw the pot on top of the canvas then simply use the wire tool to cut under the canvas thus preventing the wire cutting through the bottom of the pot.
I used my wooden bat as a template to cut out several heavy canvas mats to place on top of the bats.
I’m looking forward to trying this so I can make larger pet dishes with success such as the one pictured above!
Last winter, I took a stab at making a mold from plaster to produce unique organic shaped bowls. These became one of my favorites to make when the weather on the back porch kept me inside.
I can roll out a slab of clay, slump it over a plaster mold, walk away to do something else! Within 20 to 30 minutes, the clay has dried out just enough to take off the plaster mold and make another. These bowls have many uses. One has become my “go-to” bowl in the kitchen. I’ve used it for almost every meal: breakfast omelet, quick small salad for lunch, serve up sliced tomatoes and onions for burgers. Through the day, lemon and lime slices for my water are kept handy in my organic bowl. I sell these small bowls in sets of two in my shop on Etsy: Back Porch Studio
Making the small plaster mold, led me to think about making larger molds! So, in my quest of how to make larger slab molds, I came across this You Tube video: Ceramic Arts Daily: 3 Smart and Simple Bisque Clay Hump Mold Techniques by Kari Radasch.
I was so thrilled to learn that I could use CLAY rather plaster because I certainly have a lot of clay handy! And so, my newest creation this winter is making bisque clay hump molds of various sizes!
I used a set of metal mixing bowls to create a set of bisque clay hump molds.
With spring only nine days way, I’m looking forward to playing in the mud with these new ideas and techniques I learned over the winter!