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Creating a fantastic piece of pottery is not that hard. When using the slab method of rolling out the clay and propping up the edges or draping it over another object, can result in fabulous results. Pictured here are a few of the pieces made by rolling out the clay and pressing embossed wall paper into the clay.

Clay Trays made by Steven and Becca
Pottery Tray made with a Lace Tablecloth

To make a tray with beautiful impressions quickly and accurately that can be handled by children (age 8 and older) and adults. This is a great project to demonstrate to students how beautiful pottery can look with very little effort. It provides the basic understanding of how clay feels like, use of tools to cut clay to size and give surface texture. Lakeside Pottery uses this project to provide instant gratification in the first class or two where it increases self confidence and interest to learn more about pottery.

What is needed:

1) Slab of clay ¼" thick. Dimensions depending on size of tray
2) Pin tool
3) Window wipe
4) Stamps
5) Rolling pin
6) Leaves /plants
7) Newspaper
8) WD-40 lubricant
9) Piece of wood to reflect the inside surface size of the tray. The corners of the bottom surface of the wood need to be rounded slightly to prevent from cutting into the clay slab.
10) Foam larger than the total size of the tray and about 2 1/2" - 3" thick.

Step by step:

1) Use a slab roller or rolling pin to flatten the clay to about ¼" thick.

2) Place the slab on one sheet of newspaper.

3) Smooth the surface of the slab with a window wipe or a metal pottery kidney.

Smoothing the clay for tray project

4) Spray WD-40 (or any other lubricant) on the bottom part of the wood.

Spray WD-40 lubricant on the wood

5) Mark the inner part of the tray on the clay using the piece of wood as an outline.

Marking the outline of the tray

6) Place leaves or such on the middle section of the tray and push into the clay with the rolling pin.

Compressing your design into the clay

7) Decorate what will be the rim of the tray with stamps or other means.

Stamping the pottery tray

8) Cut the slab of clay to about 1" - 1 1/2" from the outline marked previously. The 1" - 1 1/2" size will be the tray's rim.

Cutting out the pottery tray

9) Move the slab with the newspaper to the top surface of the foam.

Placing the clay tray onto the foam

10) Place the piece of wood in the center of the slab (note that if the outside dimensions of the tray are 8"x12", the piece of wood need to be approx. 6"x10"). Make sure you place the lubricated side of the wood with the rounded corners on to the clay.

Pushing the wood into the foam

11) Push the wood onto the clay until the rime of the tray erects to the desired angle. Than let go. The tray is now formed.

12) Use the pin tool carefully to remove the wood from the clay by lifting one corner first.

13) Let tray dry and bisque.

14) Glaze and place the glass where desired (if using cone 6 electric firing).

Finished clay tray waiting to be fired

Morty Bachar Nov 2, 2004

Pottery Tray Projectt

Provided by Lakeside Pottery Ceramic School and Studio
"For more pottery tips by Lakeside Pottery, Ceramic School and Studio, click here".

Good character, like good soup, is usually homemade.

Clay Pottery Craft Projects

Tips - Definitions - Clay Projects - Pottery Gallery - Pottery Tools - Glazes - All About Clay

Have you ever come up with a good idea while working with your handmade pottery and thought that you would like to share it with others? You have? Well, why not send it to us and we will add it to the tips page for all to see.

Handmade pottery can be a very gratifying hobby that produces fun and satisfying results. For many people it's an enjoyable release that is created by working an inanimate mound of clay into a beautiful work of art that you made through your artistic abilities.

The best way of starting out is to take a few lessons from Youtube. You will probably waste quite a bit in materials when you first get started. Figuring out how to truly make handmade pottery correctly and shape into what you want it to be can be quite an ordeal. The different tools that a normal shop will have can be fun to try. You will soon see which ones you like to use the most and then when you are ready you will know which ones to buy.

With the help of the internet, you can now purchase most if not all of your ceramic and pottery tools and supplies online. We are located far from any well supplied dealers and yet working with reliable ceramic and pottery suppliers online has allowed us to recieve most of our orders within a timely manner.

When you get all set up, just enjoy the hobby and have fun at it. Some people get pretty serious and start selling their creations at craft fairs and small stores, but others just like to create items for themselves, relatives, and friends. Whichever kind of handmade pottery you desire to endeavor, enjoy the hobby and have fun doing it.

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