How to Roll a Clay Slab (No Slab Roller Needed!)

One of the first things you miss as a hand builder when transitioning to a home studio is the slab roller or, at least, it was for me.

I pulled together my tips and tricks of rolling a slab at home for you in this video. Do you have any tips of your own to share? Let me know!

My go-to tools for rolling a slab!

  • Canvas or duck cloth – available wherever fabric is sold and inexpensive. Get a few yards and then cut to fit your needs.
  • Wooden trim – available at any home improvement or hardware store. Be sure to get 2!
  • Rolling pin, extra long!
  • Even Dough Bands

Thank for checking out my latest video! Like the rest of my tutorial videos, it is me raw and unedited.

All tools noted above are my own personal preferences for my studio practice. Purchases made using the links don’t add any cost to you, but do provide a small amount to me in support of my blog and videos.

Toast

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Some people aren’t sure what to make of my plates when they first see them. Are they food safe? Would you even want to put food on them? Can they be cleaned? The answer to all of those questions is a resounding “yes!” My goal in creating my plates is to design and send out into the world functional art. Who says that plates have to be boring? \

All of that being said, I do tend to see my smaller plates as more dessert or appetizer plates and my larger ones as serving platters. One day I’ll get around to making an honest to goodness dinner plate sized ones … maybe a whole dinnerware set since that’s my long term goal, but I digress.

My view of my smaller plates changed forever this week when a friend of mine who recently acquired one of my smaller plates told me that it had become her “go-to” toast plate. Apparently, not only is it the perfect size for a small meal, the plate is rectangular so both pieces of toast fit fully on the plate without overlapping. As those of you who are toast lovers have probably experienced, once you put the toppings, be it avocado or jelly, on your toast you can’t overlap them without creating a bit of a mess. The rectangular shape solves that problem for you.

So there you have it – the perfect use for my plates: breakfast! It’s only fitting since that is my favorite meal of the day!

Check out the plate pictured and other perfect toast plates on my Etsy shop!

 

Trying Out New Textures

I always on the hunt for new texture makers for my work. I pick up random things, and I do mean “things” since I’m not even always sure just what they are, when I’m out walking. I buy crazy parts from dollar stores, auto supply stores and home improvement stores. I make a large number of my tools as well, like my roller stamps, from impressions I collect or carve into clay.

IMG_4538I found a really different object last week while I was out walking. I have absolutely no idea what it is and, yes, I washed it thoroughly before trying it out.

It was perfect timing to try it out on some plates I’ve been working on the past few weeks. I love getting new texture makers especially ones like this that have the possibility to create so many different pattern options.

I’ve tried using my latest acquisition in a couple of different ways and thought I would share my favorite mark I’ve made with it so far. Check out the time lapse video below to see it used on one of my plates in progress. In addition to my new found object, I use one of my texture rollers, one of my handmade stamps and the bottom of my paddle handle. See if you can spot them all!

How to Make a Turtle

Just a week ago from today, I was up and about absurdly early in the morning to teach a mini-lesson on clay to some 5th graders in Texas. As I logged into my computer, I gave thanks to the benefits of the virtual world. Not only does the virtual world connect kids learning about clay to folks who work in that world, but the session can be conducted wearing pajamas. I will have you know that I did brush my hair.

In addition to sharing some fun facts about clay, including those I’ve found are most relevant to kids, I offered to make an animal on demand to demonstrate some of the clay construction techniques I had talked about with them.

I thought I’d share a time-lapse video here of one way to make a great turtle!