The process of throwing a very simple plate, disc form. I made these a while ago, before I started throwing plates with an outer flange. Throwing low forms is a different process from how pots are normally made, where the clay is steadily bought up to form the walls. Instead the clay is squashed downward into a low ball and beyond until it resembles a plate shape. While it’s arguable easier to do than throwing up there is still a certain amount of control and precision needed. The greatest trick I know for throwing plates or any low, wide form is to use very soft clay, clay you’d thick unusable for making normal pots with. Not only will it centre with very little effort, but the whole process of flattening the clay is far more straightforward. This doesn’t mean I don’t centre the clay well, for plates it’s imperative to do it well, which is why you can see me coning the clay up and down a number of times to really amalgamate the particles before I compress it down.
As the pots are thrown on batts it doesn’t matter if the clay is soft, as they’ll be lifted off the wheel whilst still on the wood. It lacks strength and plasticity but that doesn’t matter. For the plates I’ve been making lately, with the outer flange, I use clay that is a little firmer, so the overhang doesn’t slump easily.
I throw these to be very slightly concave, not only to be functional and hold the contents in, but it also allows the glaze to pool nicely. In many ways these are more decorative pieces, for food to be taken off rather than eaten from. I’ve also previously thrown larger ones that could be mounted on the wall, as they show the glazes pattern and structure so well.
Wiring plate off is a skill in itself. Keeping the wire taut throughout the cut is paramount but not as easy as it looks. Any slip will mean the base wont be completely flat as it eats away at the bottom of the pot and means turning the piece will be troublesome.