Using GR Pottery Forms Wheel Attachment
One of the most functional pieces a potter can make, yet [in our opinion], the most difficult….P L A T E S !
Recently, @garage.potters we were commissioned to make a large order of plates. Coincidentally, the timing worked out that we had just stocked our favorite GR Pottery Forms. After receiving the Wheel Attachment System, we tackled our order. We have a few take-aways from our experience and want to share them with you.
Quick note: GR Pottery Forms Wheel Attachment System saves you some SERIOUS time when making plates and guarantees uniformity. Not only do we just carry round plate forms, we have triangles, platters, squares, and more!
Our process is as follows:
Roll a slab as evenly as we could to a size that would lay comfortably over our desired. We haven’t invested in a slab roller [yet!], but that would’ve saved us a lot of time.
Lay the clay slab over the round form and smooth out using a rib tool. *Do not use water!
Use the GR foot tool to cut off extra clay and form the foot that will be added on the bottom of the plate.
Take the clay slab draped over the form with the circle spacer underneath and put the entire piece on the Wheel Attachment. This automatically centers your plate and allows you to spin the wheel as if you were “throwing” the plate upside-down. * Use minimal water and press lightly while gently compressing the plate to the form. We also found that you especially want to avoid pressure on the crease where the form hits the bottom of the plate to the wall.
While the form is on the wheel, attach your trimmed foot and cut your plate lip evenly and to the size you wish.
After forming the plate, take the form off the Wheel Attachment and allow it to dry upside down and uncovered, until it’s right before leather hard. This is a difficult fine line that takes some practice. Once the plate is firm, gently shake the form from your clay plate.
This next step is crucial. Sponge out any imperfections and allow the plate to S L O W L Y dry! The amount of plates we had crack was incredibly frustrating and we want to save you from our mistakes. When we say slowly, leave the plates covered for around 5-6 days. This, of course, will vary depending on your clay, pressure used on the Wheel Attachment, and outdoor conditions…but do not rush this! We also found that the smaller the plate, the quicker it could dry without cracking. Why is this? We have no idea.
Once the plate has dried to bone dry, do your final sponging and you have successfully made a beautiful, hand-made plate.
GR Pottery Forms take some practice but can be SO useful when creating consistent tableware pieces. So, experiment, ask us questions, watch their great videos on YouTube, and have fun!