- Fettling knife or similar
- Rolling pin or hand roller
- Straight-sided rib
- Wire cutter
- Paper plate
- Texture mold or similar texturing tools
Start by cutting a slice off your block of clay of choice. I'm using Longhorn White for this demo. Roll out a slab that is approximately 3/8" thick. When we apply the texture, it will be thinned down more, so we want to be sure to start with a substantial slab. Roll the clay out gradually and make sure to flip and turn the slab as you go. You can use dowel rods to ensure an even thickness, or just eyeball it.
Gently drape the slab over your texture mold. Armadillo Clay offers a wide selection of designs for texture slabs. I chose this one for its intricate vine pattern! These molds are made from plaster, which releases from the clay naturally and requires no release agent. You can also use lace, stamps, or other texturing tools to decorate your clay slab.
Using your rolling pin or hand roller, press the clay onto the texture slab with moderate pressure. Make sure to roll in multiple directions, and all the way to the edge of the mold. You can gently lift one side of your clay slab to check and see if the design is imprinted. If it is faint, continue rolling with increased pressure until you get a good impression.
When the plate has set up to the soft leather-hard stage, it can support its own weight without the paper plate form. Once your piece is out of the paper form, gently turn it over and set it on a bit of foam to prevent damage to the texture. Keep in mind that this is a dessert-sized plate, and for larger forms like a dinner plate, you will need to add a support underneath once you remove the paper plate form and flip the clay piece over. I find that sponges work well for this.
Brush a bit of water, slip, or vinegar onto the score marks and connect the foot to the plate. Using a rib, blend the coil onto the bottom of the plate on both the inside and outside of the foot. Make sure to use one hand to support the underside of the plate opposite where you are pressing the rib, keeping the foam in between to act as a buffer and protect your texture. Once the foot is blended, you can go back with your sponge and refine the foot and rim. Try not to use too much water, as it will soften the clay again and cause distortion to the shape.
Last but not least, once the foot has set up a bit (about 30 minutes), flip your plate over and give the foot a few gentle taps on a flat surface. This will level out the foot so the plate doesn't wobble.
Tada! You just made an awesome appetizer plate/ring dish/catch-all/soap dish/you-name-it! Aunt Rosie will be in raptures!
Bonus tip: Choose a glaze that accentuates texture, like Mayco'sElements Glazes or Foundations Sheer Glazes!