hassling with heavy red-hot work,and no breathing smoke. Unloadingthe kiln the next day nearly alwaysreveals success.
Throwing Large Platters
Use 36 pounds of fairly stiff clay for
these large platters (gure 1). To re
-duce stress on your back and arms,
center only 12 pounds at a time.Center and atten each 12-pound
lump before the next lump is added
(gure 2). Standing will improve
your leverage.Open up the centered clay andcheck the thickness of the bottom
(gure 3). It should be about ¾ inch
thick. Start the platter as a funnelshape before pushing the sides down
into a platter form (gure 4).
Trim excess clay from the base of the platter, then remove the bat andplatter from the wheel and hold chest
high (gure 5). I discovered that it’snext to impossible to ip a freshly
thrown large platter upside downonto a drape mold. Intentionally col-lapsing the rim makes it possible,but you have to bounce the bat to get
the clay to collapse (gure 6). With
the rim completely collapsed, getyour shoulder under the rim of the
bat to prepare to ip the platter over(gure 7).
If the rim had not been collapsed,it would have folded under when
ipped over. Once it’s on the form,remove the bat (gure 8). To reduce
cracking problems, trim the excessclay from the base to get a moreeven thickness between the lip and
the foot (gure 9).
Alter the form using a rolling pin
(gure 10). Since the clay is still very
wet at this point, use plastic as abarrier so it doesn’t stick to the pin.Roll clay from the rim toward thebase so that the foot becomes a dome
(gure 11). Using your thumb, press
in on the center of the dome to create
a foot (gure 12). This will allow theplatter to sit at.
Once all the forming is complete,cover the lip of the platter with plas-
tic so it will dry slowly (gure 13).
The plastic should stick because theclay is still wet, but it will releaseas the clay dries. Use a bent nail to
make holes for a hanger (gure 14).
Depending on the time of year, theseplatters can take anywhere froma few days to a couple of weeks todry—don’t rush it.
Kansas State White Slip
Dolomite 10 %Custer Feldspar 14Ball clay 29EPK Kaolin 38Silica 9100 %