Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dropped Platters

Last month, we saw this article in Ceramic Arts Daily about making pottery using dropped slabs. We had done this sort of thing on a smaller scale (with shorter drops), but we wanted to try it as an alternative to pressing slabs into slump molds.

First, we created a variety of wooden frames. 

This set creates a large platter, a dinner plate, and a salad plate.

We placed a frame on a ware board. Ours are smooth plywood covered in a fine canvas that would normally be used for stretching your own painting canvases.

We lay the slab into the frame, gently lifting the edges so it begins to slump into the frame.

We hold the board with frame and slab about chest height, take a big breath.....

...and let go!

When it lands, the clay slumps into the frame. If a section doesn't quite slump, we'll lightly sponge it to press it into the frame or we will drop the slab again. Dropping again can warp the sides a bit because the slump farther. It is really cool that the edges usually trim themselves in the process!

This one was wiped with a sponge to get it completely in contact with the frame.

This is a finished plate!

This method is loads of fun and we laugh a lot while we make these! 
The plates are firing very flat and stacking very nicely. We are enjoying coming up with fun designs for the glazing.

13 comments:

pat's pottery said...

I read this and wanted to try it. Now that you have reminded me, I think I will:>)

Judith Frederick said...

that is so cool

JNpottery said...

How neat is that? I would love to try it...

Graciela Testa Lynt said...

This is great! I've made plates by dropping but not using a frame ... that's a great idea!

Linda Ellett said...

What fun! Must try! Tomorrow!

Cynthia said...

Nice!! Love fast and easy making where you can spend more time on deco...

Gina said...

What a fun, cool technique! I like your finished plate too!

Kelly said...

I love the idea of doing this as an alternative to slump molds. Only thing is how did you make the frame? I am looking to make a square platter, plate and bowl... If you could help me out with detailed instructions on making the frame I bet not only myself but other building challenged ceramic artists would be very grateful. Regardless, it is a great idea. Thank you for sharing..

SunnySunflower said...

Hello,
saw some of your work on Pinterest and I am interested on figuring out how you made your frames.
Thanks so much
Donna

LaPellaPottery said...

There is really no special construction to them. They are just frames with mitered corners that are glued and stapled. I do know that my friend, Matt, sells the frames at a really reasonable price if you are not sure about construction. I've linked to his listing below.

www.etsy.com/transaction/63811019

So, without a table saw, I would not recommend making the frames they same way we did. Ours are made from 2x2 lumber that has been ripped in half at a 45˚ angle. This cut would be very dangerous without a table saw. Then the wood is cut to length with a 45˚ miter on the corners. We glued then tacked the frames.

I know some potters have used stock moldings for their frames, but most people that I have talked to bought frames from Matt.

Jimena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura Calderon said...

I need some dropped platter frames. Do u make them? I tried etsy but no luck.....help.....
marciaclk@verizon.net

Laura Calderon said...

Can you please post matts number? The friend who makes the frames? Please.........