Pottery: How to Make a Plate?

Geo Beats

by Geo Beats

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How to Make a Plate? - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. So, I got my bat pins in. I am going to use a bat for this which is basically a slab of wood. Sticks on to the wheel head, so I can take it off. For larger, flatter shapes it is important you want to make sure you use a bat to make it easier to take off. Take my ball of clay, slap it down on the wheel, nice and wet, make sure it sealed. Now opening a plate is a little bit different then other pieces, intuitively you want to stretch the clay out. We are actually going to do is use the heel of our hand right here, make sure the clay is wet, right here on the outer edge of my cylinder using the heel of my hand I am going to push down and towards the center. What that is going to do is start compressing the clay out. It is going to make sure we have a nice seal along the bat all the way down. Flatten this out like that. It is important to keep in mind, just like on another pot, when you condense the rim, your rim is now out here on the outer edge. So I am going to take the sponge to push in on that, making sure that it is nice and condensed. Once I get a little bit flatter, want to start from the center, start pulling out a little bit. I can start doing that. You will see as I push down and come out the clay comes up in the center. Keep your other hand on top of the center like this as you come out, you are going to be able to move a lot more clay out to the edge each time. So work this, it is very important you want to make sure that the clay is nice and condensed on the wheel, is going to avoid any s cracks as it dries. Take the metal rib, run it across the surface, compact the clay. What I will do now to bring up the lip is to us my finger, make sure I slow down the wheel a little bit, push flat against the wheel head with a bat, push the clay up, make sure I keep it nice and condensed. Going to slow the wheel down, bring out, do a couple of finger pulls to bring that out. Using the sponge to kind of round off my edges. Use my wooden knife to trim out excess clay. Your metal rib has a really nice edge right here, when you press that on the clay, going to get a nice smooth edge, going to get a nice break right for your rim there with that. I can use other parts of my rib. Start shaping, depending on if this going to be a functional plate, could probably leave it like this and use it. Do some glazing techniques on it. Make it a little bit more interesting or I can start using some other tools, inlaying some patterns or designs. Adding a little bit of texture, little bit of patterns. Making the plate a little bit more interesting then just your everyday run of the mill plate.