This page hosts the short videos made for instagram with the latest appearing at the top. They are made with the intention to show you my process that is difficult to explain through a single image. Unfortunately the quality is reduced due to the uploading facillities.
Oven dish part 1
Part 1 These are the thrown baking dishes that are altered into shape on the wheel, the larger of which are made using 2.5kg of clay and the smaller 1.5kg. The profile of the dishes is relatively thick to help the even cooking of food when it gets to the oven.
I throw these on a wooden batt fixed to the wheel head with clay as the large flat surface area of the dish makes it too difficult to remove from the wheel and causes too much distortion. As the underside of the dish won’t be turned I must work the interior surface to compensate for the compression that would come with turning, this helps to prevent any ‘S’ cracks forming during drying and firing.
Once thrown to the required height and width the exterior needs to be finished, using a metal kidney and a piece of bamboo to enhance the shape.
The inside is marked and a pin is pushed through the wall to be horizontally level with the base, using the slow movement of the wheel the cut is made from the first mark to the second. The walls can then be gently moved in to place easily as the walls are not too thin, no slip or scoring is required as the clay is the same consistency and will shrink evenly during drying. This video takes us up to the finishing of the interior, the cut mark is blended in with the thumb and then cleaned over with a sponge. I will post the second half of finishing as soon as I have been able to edit it together. I hope its helpful.
Oven Dishes P2 of 2
Part two of the baking dish video.
Once the walls have been moved into place and the join is finished in the interior, the excess clay on the outside is cut away using a pin, the vertical cut needs to be considered in relation to the curve of the pot. This doesn’t need to be done neatly as cleaning up the outside is done once the pots are firmed up overnight. The base is cleaned, firstly using a metal kidney to remove excess clay then wiped over with a sponge and finally with a rubber kidney to blend in the grog from the clay which is exposed after been worked over.
I like to make sure each piece fits neatly with space for the handles this is the first opportunity to adjust shape before the handles are rolled out as a coil, pattered into shape and attached with scoring and slurry of the same clay body. The handles are worked into shape with the hand and water before being stamped and left to dry for first firing.
There are so many techniques in making altered dishes, but this is the one I favour.
Handling the lidded casseroles starts by rolling out a large coil to even consistency before cutting out set lengths, similar to banks when pulling handles or balling up clay. I keep one set aside so I can keep them the same size from pot to pot. I then gently pat them into a triangular shape using the edge of the table. The surface of the Casserole is scored and slipped and the crudely shaped lug is pressed on and blended around the edges. Once attached its worked over with plenty of water by hand to create an even and smooth surface the same is done again with a sponge as the rough texture wares away any lumpy areas. I use a ruler laid across the top of the pot to help line up the opposite handle and once both are attached I can manipulate them into shape.