Friday, December 29, 2006

For the past few years, I've become very interested in making dinnerware sets. I use slump molds for most of the tiles I make, where a slab of wet clay is draped over a plaster shape. It's an easy transition to go from tile making into making dinner plates. Our cupboards are filled with handmade dishes, bowls, mugs and serving pieces. And our love of sushi has led me down another path- making the perfect sushi plate.

Japanese food is the epitome of simplicity, yet requires a good deal of "stuff" at the table. Beside a dinner plate, you'll need a small dipping bowl for soy sauce, and perhaps a small rest for your chopsticks. And let's not forget the sake!

So even a meal for just two people can fill up a small table top.

The plaster mold I use to make a dinner plate involves a small recess, which creates a perfect place to pour a bit of soy sauce. To create that recess, I needed a way to create a shallow recess in the plaster mold... hence... the drill bit I developed and wrote about in my last post. I have a few of these molds, some even include a long groove that forms a chopstick rest. I haven't decided if I like the look of that yet, I'm still playing with it's location depth.

Notice on the plaster mold above, there is a blue line marking where the slot is located. Once the slab of clay is applied, it's difficult to find the slot. So everything needs to be properly marked before the clay goes on it.

Here is one of the sushi plates, awaiting glaze.

There are several of these plates cooling in the kiln right now. Resisting the urge to peek inside is quite difficult! You're not supposed to open the kiln until it's cooled to under 200˚. I've found it's best for me to stay away from my studio, and find something else to do.

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