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fw: square plates

updated tue 4 apr 00


Dwiggins, Sandra (NCI) on mon 3 apr 00

I'm forwarding Lee Love's e-mail about square plates to the list, since there
was lots of interest.

You have to make a few to get the hang of it, but after you do, you'll find your
own variation on how to deal with the paper, etc. I didn't use the little dust
bag of cornstarch, but I wanted a different look.

Have a good time.....

-----Original Message-----
From: Lee Love []
Sent: Friday, February 18, 2000 11:14 AM
Subject: Re: square plates

----------------------------Original message----------------------------
At the first pottery I working in, here in Mashiko (I worked there for
and a half months), the most interesting thing I learned was what they
taught all the new employees in the beginning: making plates, sushi
platters and pickle dishes just using a cutout, some newspaper and
clay coils (hebi nendo = clay snake.)

Most of the templates were cut out of light plywood and were either
or rectangles or rounded cornered squares or rectangles, but you could
actually use any shape and cut them out of card board. The clay is
smoothed with a metal scraper on both sides. you then lay it on 3
of paper on a board,the paper is a little bigger than the slab you use
cut the slabs from a block of clay, using a cutting wire and cutting
Lay the template down and cut the shape you want. Remove the excess
clay. Then, take come clay snake and put it under the edge of the
shape, so that half of the snake is covered by the edge of the slab.
square or rectangular shapes, you lay snakes at parallel ends, and then
lay the two other sides, with the ends crossing the first snakes. The
snakes should be under two sheets of paper, and on top of the bottom
Next, take a cotton bag filled with cornstarch (tie the end with a
band to hold the starch in) and smooth the slap from the middle to the
edge. To get a nice smooth surface on the wall of the outside of the
plate, lift the two pieces of paper and roll the cornstarch bag into the
edge, toward the clay snake. When you have all the edges the way you
them, slide the form off of the board with the paper and snakes intact
leave it out to dry. When it is dry, you can smooth the edges with a

Where I work now, I am developing a new respect for molded work.
I work next to the retired Forman who makes most of the molded bottles,
jars, bowls, etc. Right now, he is making little calligraphy water
droppers. I think he does most of the production of these molded
and does the finishing, but the Sensei does the enamel work on them.
want to learn the mold work so my wife can make her own work and do he
decoration on them. The slab work would also be nice flat surfaces
her to put her imagery on.

Lee in Mashiko, Japan