Orca Plates

About two months ago I recycled a couple of big buckets of porcelain clay scraps.

I’ve learned over the years the best way to recycle clay is to let the scraps dry completely and then add distilled water to the scraps. The dry clay absorbs water much better and faster than damp clay. Once the water has been absorbed, I spread out the goopy clay onto a big sheet of cement board and then wedge it on a plaster bat a little at a time. It’s a slow, labor-intensive undertaking but it’s way better than throwing away good clay and the results are several bags of super plastic, awesome, easy-to-use clay.

I used the recycled porcelain to make this series of plates and some large sgraffito serving bowls (a future post will be dedicated to those). For this series, I wanted to see how many ways I could apply the tessellating orca design to a plate (or shallow bowl). They include:

  1. underglaze pencils/wax resist and sprayed underglaze
  2. underglaze transfers on greenware/glazes applied with needle applicators
  3. carving the surface of the clay
  4. brushing underglaze/sponging underglaze
  5. sgraffito (applying a layer of underglaze and carving through it to reveal clay beneath)
  6. drawing glaze with needle applicators
  7. slip trailing/glazes applied with needle applicators
  8. carving design into a plaster mold/glazes applied with needle applicators
  9. silver marker resist/glazes applied with needle applicators

I’m sure I missed some great techniques. Please let me know if you can think of anything I should try out.

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