I really like cooking and presenting food to friends and family at the table, I find that when food is served on a plate we are all guilty of just tucking in and filling our faces (well, I am). Presenting food for people to help themselves I found gets people talking, picking up the pots and passing them round encourages conversation.
I have quite a number of oven dishes in my kitchen from various potters that I have collected over the years all different shapes and sizes, perfect for all the different home bakes, straight out of the oven and onto the table.
Because I rarely have consecutive days in the pottery I needed a way of making the dishes in one run. My master potter from when I was an apprentice makes the walls of the dish first and then the following day would shape the walls into an oval and fix it down onto a freshly thrown bed of clay. I needed a way to make them in one go and later, once they have firmed up, apply the handles and slip the interiors. I start by throwing a large cylinder to preset measurements, leaving the walls and base relatively thick for the purpose of its cooking use. Once the cylinder is formed I mark out two parallel lines on the inside close to the outer wall. I then run a pin through the wall as level to the interior base as possible and once both sides have been cut I cradle the wall with two hands and lift the wall over towards the middle of the pot to square up the dishes. The reason I use a pin is because it has less surface area and doesn’t drag and distort the pot as I cut through. The join will need working over on the interior and exterior but it doesn’t need to be scored and slipped as the clay is soft from throwing and the wall and base are the same constancy.