I've just finished this Beastie cake plate and set of cups for a special order. The Beastie were inspired by a masterclass I did a few years ago with Marino Moretti in Umbria (it's not like I go to Italy all the time or anything. It was just that I did go once or twice.) The cake plate presented quite a few logistical problems as the shape of a flat plate supported on a raised base is not really suited to porcelain.
I threw the plate first and turned it upside down onto the base and bisque fired it upside down but then I was stuck...... If I fired the cake plate upright the porcelain would slump. San Fransisco potter Whitney Smith offered some excellent suggestions such as grogging the porcelain before I threw the plate and covering the piece with porcelain slip. (unfortunately it was a bit late for that particular bit of good sense), or throwing a concave plate to compensate for the slumping during the gloss firing. I did it the difficult, time- consuming way by throwing a stand to support the plate from underneath and leaving a ring under the cake plate unglazed so the stand could fit exactly under the plate and support it during the firing. This was labour intensive but I now have two stands to use when I am making more cake plates and, very importantly, the plate fired absolutely flat.
All cake bakers will know that a flat cake plate is essential to the success of an afternoon tea!