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The Making of a Plate

Let’s talk plates.Plates are one of the more difficult things to make on the potter’s wheel, and not many people keep at them long enough to get them to a successful point.In 2017 I made over 550 plates and I still have trouble with them.Just a few weeks ago I unloaded a custom order of 10 dinner plates from the gas kiln, only to find them all slumped in the center.So what makes them so difficult to make you ask?Most of the trouble comes from warping or slumping in the final glaze firing…but that’s if you make it to the glaze firing.There are several steps prior to the glaze firing that allow for many disappointing days.I’ll take you through the plate making process and point out some tips that I’ve learned along the way.

Making the plate on the potter’s wheel
How much clay should you use?More than you think.A thin plate has a much greater chance of warping, slumping or cracking.Just by increasing my 10” dinner plate from 4 pounds to 4.5 pounds, I’ve decreased my loss rate from about 20…

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