Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Oval Platters

I came across a You Tube video of a stretched oval platter by potter Tim See that piqued my interest. You make a thick plate on the wheel, then stretch it out by throwing it onto the ground. My first few attempts at this platter were a bit timid, but I eventually got a feel for swinging the clay onto the ground in each direction. I could not see where Tim's thumbs were in the instructional video, so I tried not to touch the sides as I swung the clay. But after trying it and watching the video again, I think he let his thumbs rest on the inside of the rim. I bet this thumb placement helped construct the oval shape. Since those were experiments, I manipulated them in different ways to see how far I could push the clay. Good to know this for future platters.
I wanted to make a large platter, so I eventually attempted using 10 pounds of clay (bottom one in the photo). I think it looked pretty good, I might cut away the parts where my thumbs were awkwardly placed and add handles. Those edges seem a little messy. The alterations need a swift and intentional motion otherwise they look too fussed over.


  1. I'mgoing to have to try this, interesting. How did it work out with finishing the bottom etc..? I really hope you get into the conference!!! If not, I guess you will have to just go pot shopping with me Sat am. This second option does not sound too bad! Later L

  2. I used a Sureform around the edges and left the bottom alone. I ended up cutting away from the each end and attaching two handles as well. I think the next time I try it I will try to form the handles from the sides while it is wet, like Tim did in the video. I left the platter out under my porch, not realizing that the sun was moving in. It dried to quick for any other alterations besides cutting.

  3. Hey good job for the first few times, I'm kinda jealous. you can do things like add slip and make squiggles to the bottom to get even more looks.

  4. Thanks so much Tim! I must say you are a great teacher and I have watched many of your video clips several times to try and throw with ease like you. The platter made it through a recent wood firing, check out the photo in my April post "The Pots".