Sunday, March 07, 2010

Solving Logistical Problems

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!

8 comments:

Renee Blackwell said...

i saw this work in your studio a week or so ago, and shannon I have to say you are magic. the collection is lovely in the photo's, but in "real life" it is stunning. i am blown away by your talent....

FetishGhost said...

The solution you came up with is as beautiful as the pictures that you included in your post. Fantastic results!

barb jensen said...

What a wonderful set. This may be the best thing I have seen all year; beautiful design and execution. Love!!!

Kelly said...

wow, congrats on the success of that plate! That was tricky and you did it! Ready to go wholesale now for your cake stands?!? Doesn't that just make you shiver??

vipoo said...

Shannon, i love this new work. the cups are beautiful!

Shannon Garson said...

Thanks guys- I really appreciate the comments

Gloria said...

Hi Shannon, What gorgeous work and what a lovely blog you have. So happy to have discovered it all via Sophie Nunn's blog. I look forward to spending more time reading your posts. Best...

Gloria said...

Oh -- I believe I referenced Sophie "Nunn" in my first comment, but it's actually "Munns". Apologies..