This week I've been working on some experimental plates for a custom order request. The challenge I have is to create a large enough finished plate of (12") that doesn't warp and fires nicely. This doesn't sound like a big deal but with the shrinkage of the clay both by the drying and firing process, I will need to throw a plate about 13.5 " or so. The wheel head on my pottery wheel is 13" so the plate would extend over my wheel.
The first few attempts looked good but the size was just too small. These will finish at about 10.5".
I decided to try using a hump mold, my husband made me several this past year, each one was hand cast in plaster. The mold attaches to the wheel head and the plate is thrown on top of the mold, essentially the plate is being formed upside down. Once thrown, the mold is removed from the wheel head and dries over night.
After a few hours of drying, I stamp the bottoms with my custom made pottery stamp featuring my kitty Parker.
Here's a picture of my sweet boy. He's much more handsome than this photo shows but is a little camera shy.
After the plates have dried over night, I pop them off the molds and put them back on the wheel for further trimming and smoothing.
Here is one of the larger plates coordinating with a smaller dinner plate.
After these dry completely they will be staged for my next bisque fire. I will report back on the progress.