Friday, March 30, 2007

clay friend

I have a good friend and fellow potter, Herb, with whom I enjoy talking about Bill Van Gilder's TV shows. In a recent program, BVG demonstrates using a slump mold to make a serving dish and a baking dish. So Herb made a couple molds cut from wood in his fabulous wood shop and offered to make some for me. I made a couple patterns for some ideas I've been toying with lately and Herb made beautiful wooden slump and hump molds from my patterns. We are having a great time trying figure out exactly how to work with the molds to get what we want.

One of my patterns was for a soup and salad plate. It is pear shaped and will accommodate both the soup bowl and a large salad. That is a favorite meal for Jim and me but we are confounded by having too many plates to fit on our place mats. So this would be a solution--it could also be a soup and sandwich plate. Or even hold a bowl of dip and a pile of chips. But it may turn out to be too specialized to warrant taking up the space in the cupboard.

The other was intended to be a mold for a gratin (baking) dish. So it would be an ellipse with deep sides. Unfortunately, I cut too small a piece to get the deep sides so this first try will be more like a shallow platter. Or it could hold the soup and salad!

I am impressing stamps into the surface of the plates that I hope will be attractive when the glaze pools in the indentions made by the stamps. (You can only barely see the stamp impressions in these photos.) All this is in the experimental stage. I've done very little hand-building and have not been attracted to it. But right now, I'm a little excited about what we are doing.

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