by William Shinn
he early Greek potters usedsmall rolls of clay that hadbeen carved on the surfacesto produce repeated patterns on theirfreshly thrown forms. However, littlemore has been done with this tech-nique by subsequent potters. This isunderstandable, since larger rollingstamps would, of course, distort afreshly thrown piece. With the in-creased interest in handbuilt, press-molded and extruded forms, the pos-
sibilities for texturing ﬂat surfaces
with rolling stamps on a larger scalecan be more thoroughly explored.The simplest method of creatingrolling stamps is to roll a clay slabaround a tubular shape, such as acardboard tube, wooden dowel orplastic pipe. These produce a rigidbacking when applying a textureto the slabs. A piece of newspaperplaced between the form and theclay will prevent sticking when re-moving the support. Removal shouldbe performed as soon as possible be-fore any shrinkage takes place.
Stamps also can be made by throw-ing a cylindrical or conical form
(gure 1). The thrown stamps are
created like miniature steamer cas-seroles. The center spout is pulledup and compressed to an opening thesize of the dowel (with allowance for
shrinkage). The outer wall is then
raised to form the working surfaceof the stamp, which will be carvedat the proper stage of drying. Makesure that the outer surface is perpen-
dicular to the wheel head (gure 2).
The use of an extruder can alsoproduce tubular shapes for rolling
stamps. The ends can be lled in,
leaving small holes in the center to
Rolling stamps giveyou a practical wayto create repeatingdesigns. Combiningstamps provideseven more designopportunities.