Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Say Cheese

A couple of days ago I purchased several plastic forms I thought I could use as hump molds to make a butter dish. I thought of making a butter dish because it's a ceramic piece which doesn't have to belong to a set. Folks might like a unique butter dish, not necessarily matching the rest of their kitchen ware.

Also the great thing about using ceramics to house food which should be kept slightly chilled is that ceramics absorb the cold and retain it longer, keeping the food firm and cooler. Ceramics will also keep food warm longer for the same reason.

But let me back up. Just as I was walking out the front door, I heard a new email announced on my computer. I had to see if there was something important. I received an email from Cynthia Guajardo of Colorado Art Studio's about butter dishes. I was thinking it must be Halloween because it was so eerie that I had intended on making a ceramic butter dish today too.

So I drove to the studio, rolled out my clay and started right in. The hump mold I chose was a bit larger than a butter dish, but I reasoned that it would shrink some. A long story short, the butter dish became a cheese keeper because the dish is a little too large to keep butter in.

My "Say Cheese!" cheese keeper was constructed in much the same way that Cynthia has outlined so well in her post. My dish is just a little larger and is great for cheese. A few posts back I was saying I had always wanted to make a ceramic piece with lettering on it and had never had a chance, well today was the day. Anyway I have a smaller mold to make a butter dish which I will try tomorrow.

Say Cheese!


  1. Linda your cheese/butter dish is wonderful. Last year at our holiday sale my butter dishes went fast and I didn't even make a top for them. I think I might make some for this upcoming sale. These blogs are great inspirations!

  2. What a weird coincidence, Linda! I like your cheese keeper too - It will be good to see the shrinkage factor once fired. I may decide to change my template a bit at that point in time.

  3. Hi Judy, Since my dish came out larger than I wanted, as I was driving home I was thinking cheese dish, but I thought people might think it was a butter dish that was too large so I decided to write cheese on it so there wouldn't be any question. Now I am thinking I might make a little cracker dish to go with it - not sure what - I might even make one that could connect to it somehow - one idea definitely stimulates another. This is so much fun.

    Hi Gary, As I was thinking of what to write on it - it hit me - Say Cheese? Now every time I read it on the cover I laugh out loud - I am really liking the whimsey of it. Just got to figure out how to glaze it to keep the words visible.

    Hi Cynthia, I am thinking out loud here - my greenware cheese dish is 5.5 by 9.5 and I am using Dave's Porcelain which shrinks 13.5% percent - so that's over an inch overall (1.235) shrinkage (I think if my math is right - that sounds like a lot). Now that I have measured the greenware size, it will be interesting to see what the final size becomes after the glaze firing. My plastic butter dish is 6 inches long by 1.75 inches tall and 2 inches wide at the top and 2.25 inches wide at the bottom of the lid. So I want to strive for a finished butter dish size of approximately 6 x 2 - so I am thinking of making my butter dish 7.5 by 3.5 and then hopefully it will shrink down to what I want. I like to give a little extra to be sure it isn't too small. My glass butter dish is only 5.25 inches long by 2 inches tall. I just realized I need to measure the inside of the greenware pieces. The plastic butter dish is about 1/8 inch thick, but the greenware and finished butter dish will be thicker. I am starting out with about 3/8 inch thick clay slab - isn't math (and clay) fun.

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