search  current discussion  categories  forms - misc 

wheel-thrown oval platters

updated tue 29 jun 99


Berry Silverman on thu 24 jun 99

Another posting for a friend who throws. She has
thrown platters and altered them into oval shapes
before, but is looking for a refresher course. Does
anyone have methods, tips, suggestions, pitfalls to
avoid? All would be appreciated. Thanks.

Berry Silverman,
Berryware, Tucson, Arizona
Do You Yahoo!?
Get your free address at

Beth Yeatman Spindler on fri 25 jun 99

Hi, Berry,
Did some of these at a recent workshop at Campbell in Brasstown NC....
Started out by centering clay on and form into a small to
med size plate....remove from wheel and
1. hold the plate (upside facing you) with both hands at the bottom and throw
on concrete floor (coat the floor area with corn starch first to avoid
sticking) or use a canvas-covered board which is placed on the floor
2. when you throw the "plate" you want to throw it so the top of the plate
makes contact first with the floor or board and then the rest will follow
3. move to the opposite side and repeat the process.....grasping the platter
from the bottom and "smacking " it on the floor with the top hitting out for the bottom don't want it too
4. also if you want to "enhance the platter" can take dowels or
bamboo pieces in whatever diameter you want or will work with the platter and
make "natural handles" do this by taking the ends of the platter and
shaping them over a dowel or piece of bamboo.....of course some shrinkage so
allow for that.....also, you will need to make some holes in the clay part of
the handle to attach the bamboo
5. after the platter has been bisqued, glazed, fired.... .use cane or
honesuckle or whatever vine you prefer that had been soaked overnight to
attach the bamboo handle to the platter...........if you want to take it that
far in the decorating process
We did a straw firing on some of the platters...some of them had been
covered with red art terra sig or a white(not sure the name) terra sig before
bisquing and were then wrapped in newspapers with wet straw applied to
various parts of the platter....securing it with wire...then set it on
fire......small ones could fit in a large metal garbage can..but was very
awkward to get out......tongs and platters in a deep can was difficult to
remove.....most of the platters went into a small pit surrounded by
firebrick......AND all of this was done with a threat of a tornado any
minute..........brave souls we were!! LOL
hope this is something your friend can use......directions are probably fuzzy
somewhat......if you have more questions, please email me and I would be
happy to share info.......
Beth in VA :)
Rained out at the beach....beautiful "beachy" weather here in
Charlotesville.....figures......!! :)

Faye Clarke on fri 25 jun 99

Hi Berry;
we had a Lady in our Pottery Group here on Van. Island who tried altering
platters and plates into ovals.... She stretched T-Shirt material over the
bat-- threw on that and then by holding the two opposite sides and pulling
she created the oval shape desired...
I tried it once.. but know it would take some practise.. to become
One would have to make sure they threw very cleanly and that the bottom
would not require any trimming after coming off the bat....

9:23 AM 6/24/99 EDT, you wrote:
>----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>Another posting for a friend who throws. She has
>thrown platters and altered them into oval shapes
>before, but is looking for a refresher course. Does
>anyone have methods, tips, suggestions, pitfalls to
>avoid? All would be appreciated. Thanks.
>Berry Silverman,
>Berryware, Tucson, Arizona
>Do You Yahoo!?
>Get your free address at

Anne Hunt on mon 28 jun 99


lightly grasp the edge of your thrown clay round. standing in front of
your work table, make a "tossing a bowl of water" motion with the clay,
maintaining your hold on the close-to-you edge. the far edge of the clay
will kind of whump down onto the table, stretch and slump, making a bit of
an oval. gently pick up and toss out again. think of how they used to
stretch a pizza (if you're not too young :)
this is also an alternative to using a rolling pin to thin your
handbuilt sections; the sections may not be totally uniform in thickness,
but as the clay whumps, stretches, and dries a bit, it makes interesting
distressed texture on the clay... it's the basis for all of my "floral"
hunt's luck

annd & C.