Making my porcelain plates for “Dish”

Shortly after Christmas I was catching up with Lotte Inch who then invited me to make some plates for an exhibition called Dish, that will be running at Lotte Inch Gallery from 9th March to 6th May 2017 – co-curated by chef Tom Kerridge.

Until recently I would have struggled to throw wider forms, especially when trying to wire through the bases without warping or wiring straight through. However, before Christmas, some very kind friends (thanks Jeremy and Sharon!) had showed me an article from Ceramics Monthly on how to use canvas bats to solve my problem. This was my opportunity to put it to the test properly.

The plates are now ready for the show and this blog is a short record of my making process that I hope might be useful for other potters …

First, here’s that page from Ceramics Monthly article that proved so useful and some snaps of how I followed the technique, with wider forms such as plates and bowls. I throw the form on a canvas bat on my wheel, then I can safely wire through under the canvas.  Then I wait for it to dry until the rims are leather hard, flip it over onto another bat, peel off the canvas and then turn it the right way up onto a dry bat for the base to firm up …

Once the bases have all dried to leather hard, I put them back on the wheel and turn in the foot rings. For particularly wide dishes, I turn in two foot rings to support the dish during firing, stopping it from slumping in the middle during firing …

The dishes are then biscuit fired and ready for glazing …

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For this project, I wanted to try something  different with the glazing but still using my standard palette of grey, black and azure. So first I tried some glaze tests using a group of small pots. The first picture below shows those tests and I ended up using the ‘double dip’ method shown on the two on the far right side of the photo. The next pictures show the before and after glaze firing, with the transformation of the glaze and the shrinkage. During the glaze fire, I applied a silica hydrate to the bases to stop them sticking to the kiln shelf and allowing them to freely move and shrink without warping. So that meant they needed a good wash afterwards to remove the sandy residue …

Here’s the finished set of plates, most of which have been packed up and sent to Lotte Inch Gallery …

 

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Preparing for Lotte Inch Gallery

It was great to take a break from the pottery wheel this week to meet Lotte from the beautiful new Lotte Inch Gallery in York. She’d been down to London to visit the London Art Fair and managed to find time to pop South of the river to visit my studio in Carshalton and see what I do.

So now I’m starting work on a new set of porcelain pieces, discussed with Lotte, and aiming to be ready for the Life Stills exhibition that will run from 16th March to 28th May 2016 in her gallery.   

The Life Stills exhibition will feature breath-taking work from York based painter Amy Rose Clyfan as well as Michael Kirkman, Alexandra Leadbeater and Becky Adams with special art-star guests Edward Burra and Ivon Hitchens!

The gallery is in an amazing location, being very central, near York Minster and right next door to the Centre of Ceramics Arts (CoCA) which is a world-class exhibition space dedicated to British studio ceramics …”the largest and amongst the most important in the UK”. I’m very pleased that Lotte has invited me to exhibit and can’t wait to visit York soon.