A few weeks back I had the pleasure of traveling to Cincinnati, Ohio, with the purpose of filming some of the demonstrations at the Potters Council workshop “Focus on Function.” These workshops present a terrific opportunity for me to acquire videos of pottery and sculpture techniques from top-notch ceramic artists that I can share with the Ceramic Arts Daily audience. It is kind of like a mini-workshop for those who were unable to attend in person. In today’s video, potter Laura Ross demonstrates how to make lovely and functional thrown and altered baking dish with a slab built lid.

It is a longish video but it is packed with great information. For instance, Laura’s slab-built lid technique is a super cool way to make a snug-fitting lid on an altered form. So sit back and enjoy! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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When Laura throws her baking dishes, she opens up the clay to the wheel
head because she will be adding a slab bottom. To make the slab
attachment process easier, she shapes the bottom of the pot into a
curve, rather than a harder angle, thus eliminating the need for a coil
to reinforce the joint. Brilliant.
Laura has found that when altering a round pot into a square or
rectangular form, it helpful to push out the bottom “corners” to add
strength
To make the template for the slab lid, Laura uses newspaper. To get the
exact shape to ensure a snug fitting lid, she paints India Ink around
the rim of the baking dish and then lays newspaper on top to pick up
the ink. This gives her the template she needs to cut out for the slab.
To make the lid dome shaped, after letting the slab stiffen up (not
quite leather hard; it needs some give but cannot be soft), Laura lays
a piece of plastic over the baker and lays the slab on top of that.
Then she gently presses the slab into the opening of the baker creating
a nice curve.

This video was filmed during the recent
Potters Council workshop “Focus on Function” in Cincinnati, Ohio. Don’t
miss the next Potters Council workshop “Handbuilding and Paperclay”
June 12-14, 2009 in Port Hadlock, Washington.

Register before March 27 and receive $75 off registration fees!

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