Project 2

Intermediate Throwing
Plates Project 2
Problem: Create a series of plates that serve a utilitarian purpose and act a canvas for aesthetic expression.

Objective: Learn the basic technique for throwing plates, to become familiar with producing plates that have flat bottom as well as a trimmed foot, and to develop imagery that utilizes the plate form as a surface for expression by using slip decoration.

Identify several artists that make plates that interest you with regard to design as well as personal expression.

Make several sketches of that explore variations in using the plate form for expression of your personal aesthetic. 

Produce 2 sets of 8 plates that all have different variations on using the surface as a “canvas” for personal expression.  (16 pieces total)  Make 2 sets of 8 with trimmed feet and 2 sets of 8 with flat bottoms.

Discuss the drawings you have made with your instructor before beginning

Pay attention to the timing when deciding to trim your plates.  (dry rims will crack and flipping plates too early will cause them to warp or collapse in the center.

All pieces should employ the use of slip for surface decoration in the leather hard state.


-Do not allow water to collect on the surface of the clay while throwing at any time.

-Make several passes over the surface of your plate with a rib to compress the flat surface of the plate.

-Use multiple colors of slip to decorate your pieces.

After throwing the plates and letting them set up for a couple of hours, the plates are left under plastic and allowed to "sweat" for 3 days.  This prevents the rims from drying too fast and allows the plates to dry evenly.  These plates are drying upside down in an effort to allow the bottoms to harden up before trimming.

A plate placed upside down during the drying process in an effort to facilitate even drying.  Note: this plate has just been trimmed and the rim is just barely starting to change color after the trimming process is complete.

This plate has been trimmed with a foot that is designed with an edge to catch glaze if it runs.  This type of foot can also be wrapped with a wire that has a loop on the end for hanging.

Large platter with white slip and scrafitto by Jake Allee

 Cone 9 oxidation, Jake Allee

Ron Meyers

Ming Dynasty Wanli Period Plate from China, 1573-1620, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Late Classic Mayan Plate, Denver Museum of Art