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Making slab plates is a great way to develop basic slab techniques, and using Chinet® plates for forms makes this an easy project. Most of us non-teachers, probably are under the assumption that teachers just kick back and relax all summer long.
So today, I thought I would highlight a section of Ceramic Arts Daily that might help them in these efforts: our revamped Education section. Making a set of ceramic plates can be fun for the beginner, but is also easily adapted for the more-experienced student.
After only a few hours of work, you can learn how to roll out a good, even slab, and can experience different stages of plastic clay and what the clay is capable of at each stage.
Flip the clay slab, smooth the top edge then place it into the paper plate, lining up the edges (figure 3).
These plates are adaptable to all sorts of decorative techniques at the leather-hard, greenware and bisque stages. Slip decoration gives dimension to the plates and students draw on their own creative design ideas for the work. When you handbuild a set of plates, every artist approaches each plate with a slightly different perspective. With texture along one side of the slab, place the paper plate templates so that the location of the design will be pleasing on a plate. Be sure to download your free copy of the Slab Roller Techniques and Tips: A Guide to Selecting a Slab Roller and Making Slab Pottery. Whether you can put anything you make out of clay (doesn’t matter whether it is a plate or not) in a dishwasher depends on what clay you used, how you fired it, and how you finished the surface. You can use the technique described in the article above by stenciling the design onto greenware (totally unfired pottery) or bisqueware (pottery that has undegone a firing to harden it enough to drive out the water and make it harder and easier to not break when you handle it).
Note that different clays shrink different amounts when they are fired, and they do not all fire to the same temperature. You will need to make sure the glaze you choose is formulated to go with the clay you are using.
If you want to do purely ornamental plates to hang on your wall, you can paint clay with just about any kind of paint or surface treatment that works on paper or wood. Many kinds of Native American pottery, and raku-fired pottery should not go in the dishwasher.
I just did this project with a kids class today (before seeing the email) I remembered the article from when it was in PMI. Please continue with the specifics of using underglaze and any other surface decoration after the plates have been bisque fired. So great, I just discovered the website, but I think I ‘m going to try this Idea Tomorrow.
At Space Studios, we routinely use this project for students of all ages (4-89!), but haven’t tried the stencil design yet.
Great idea for a teacher to work on with students – one to take with me in the classroom.

Fullen Sie das untenstehende Formular aus und in Kurze werden Sie regelmassig uber die Angebote und Aktivitaten von Interio informiert. Here, we’ll share with you some of the most inventive handbuilt work out there and give step-by-step instruction from the artists making it. This section is filled with resources for teachers such as lesson plans, project ideas, how-to videos, downloadable charts, handouts, visual aids and other useful materials for teachers and students alike.
This project presents a direct and fresh slab-forming approach resulting in plates that become great canvases for surface decoration. You become familiar with simple slump molds and start to consider the form and function of your work. I have expanded this project to include experiments with paper stencils and slip decoration, but that’s just the beginning.
When rolling out a slab, start by throwing it across the table in different directions until it is somewhere close to 3 inches thick.
Experiment with pressing the clay into the paper plate with your hands or sandwiching your clay between two plates (figure 4). Remove the clay from the mold to check to see if the plates stack nicely and sit on a flat surface without rocking.
Textured dessert plates with slip inlay use found and inexpensive materials to create a design and a slip in contrasting color to further highlight the design. The experience of making the first plate, bowl, mug or tile influences the next, as do things as simple as body position and energy levels. Before cutting out the plate, place textured material along one side of the clay slab and gently roll into the clay. Remove excess clay and smooth the rims of the plates, working on the top edge and then flipping the clay to finish the bottom edge of the rim. This handy studio reference includes valuable technical references to help you use your slab roller to it’s greatest potential! Handbuilding projects, from the simple coil built pot to complex slab built sculpture, are covered in detail.
The summer is really a time of regrouping and planning for the next year (hopefully after squeezing in a much-needed vacation first!). I have presented an example below, in which Amanda Wilton-Green explains a cool, simple slab building project that could really be adapted for any grade from kindergarten through high school. Use a slab roller or a rolling pin to continue rolling the slab to the desired thickness, taking care not to roll over the edges. Take a moment to look closely at the rim of each plate to do any final shaping they might need. These slab plates are simple enough for very young students and satisfying for the adult student. Paper stencils used with decorative slip can make bold, graphic borders or motifs for your set of plates (figure 5). We’re thoughtful and inconsistent creatures and we can use these characteristics to great benefit when done so with intention.

Sandwich the clay between two paper plates and press the clay into the bottom corners of the lower plate. Peruse through our archive of articles and videos on handbuilding techniques, whether you want to brush up on a process or start off in a new direction. And don't forget to download your free copy of the Slab Roller Techniques and Tips: A Guide to Selecting a Slab Roller and Making Slab Pottery . When the project is completed, you’ll have a set of plates to use in you home or to give as gifts. As you cut, keep your needle tool or fettling knife perpendicular to your work surface to create a square rim. A set of plates can be tied together with a theme, color, position of image, size or concept. Clay is great for picking up the most delicate details and is quite beautiful at this stage. Remove the top plate and paint a generous amount of contrasting slip over the textured area. I recommend you prepare by cutting as many stencils as required before beginning the slip work. And, if you haven't already, be sure download your free copy of our Five Great Handbuilding Techniques: How to Make Pottery Using the Pinch, Coil and Slab Methods for some handbuilding project ideas. This handy studio reference includes valuable technical references and great clay tools to help you with forming, surface decoration and firing. If you’re working on canvas, you’ll notice that the clay stops stretching after the first few times because the clay holds onto the texture of the canvas. Because we’re used to seeing sets coming from a factory, the default definition in our minds can be limited to identical objects. Leave the clay in the bottom paper plate and let dry until it is a very stiff leather hard. Plus, it has a comprehensive directory of manufacturers and suppliers that provide ceramic equipment, raw materials, clay tools and ceramic supplies. Carefully lift the slab creating as much surface area with your hand as possible, and leave the slab to stiffen to a soft leather-hard stage. Soak the paper stencils in water until wet but not soggy and then set onto paper towel to remove excess moisture.
The clay needs to be able to bend without cracking, but you don’t want fingerprints to show as you manipulate your clay.
At this stage, use a metal rib to scrape away the top layer of colored slip leaving behind only what is inlaid into the textured areas. Sometimes the stencil can be directly transferred to the next plate and pressed with the sponge.

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