Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cake Stands

Several months ago I attempted to make a cake stand. After comments about the difficulties, like warping which can occur, I was really worried about the glaze firing. But you know how I am about challenges; I decided to take on the cake stand challenge.

Amazingly, my cake stand made it through the bisque and glaze firing. Thanks to Michele for her suggestion to dry it upside down. I attached sprigs on top of this first cake stand so the sprigs kept it from lying completely flat. However, I think a little wabi sabi is desirable with this earthy style cake stand.

For the next cake stand I decided to modify my original design; I added a lip which hangs down. This change allows me to dry the stand lying upside down and completely flat. I put in the middle flat circle thinking the addition of this extra clay piece helps support the large expanse of the top plate when it's fired. I'm drawing these circles freehand, perhaps I should invest in a compass. What do you use to form your clay circles?

I decided to use the same terra cotta clay since I had success with it the first time. Here's the bone dry cake stand (boy that black background makes the clay look white), a little sanding and it was ready to be fired the other day. Once I perfect my design and firing of these stands, I'll make more with other types of clay. I just pulled this one out of the kiln and it made it fine.

Here's the top of the cake stand. I brushed the rutile blue glaze in a circle and I like how it seems to swirl around.

Meanwhile I couldn't wait, and decided to make another cake stand with stoneware clay. I made this square cake stand (drying below in the closet) with cut off corners and a dental impressed design along the edges. The top, which is drying flat, looks a little thin to me, we shall see.

Here's the square cake stand turned upright now that it's bone dry. Cake stands aren't easy to turn upright when lying flat. I have to handle it gingerly and hold my wrist and arms flat so I don't impede the expanse of the top when I turn it over. I should do a video if I could figure out how with my camera. After this next two rounds of bisque and glazing, that might be my new challenge, learning how to make a video.

The square cake stand was too tall for the space I had in the kiln today, so I'll fire it next time. It really does look thin. I dried the stand on cardboard and it has a slight curve to the top. Maybe that's the camera, I'll have to put my small level on it. Now I'm using wallboard and I learned a tip about drying pieces on newsprint paper from Gay so I'll try that with the next one.

I've been thinking of several design possibilities for cake stands, geometric shapes and bright glaze colors. Stands can be used for other types of food besides cake, like cookies, tortes, appetizers, fruit, or cheese and crackers. It's food elevated to a whole new level (couldn't resist the phrase). Please cross your fingers for the firing coming up in couple of days for this square cake stand.


  1. Hope you can figure out how to do a video. Peter did one that was quite informative, especially for non-potters like me.
    Your tutorials and learning processes are very interesting.

  2. what fun Linda!
    We made a few years ago and they went through fine.
    Then the last time we tried- crack!

  3. Gosh, but there's a lot involved with a cake stand. I'll never look at one again without thinking of the work that went into making it. (One of the reasons I love your posts, you're so good about explaining how things are done.)

    I love the swirls!! The colors can go on any table. Beautiful!

    Question: Is it possible to make a shorter cakestand? During the holidays I like to stagger the goodies. It was difficult to find a stand with a short leg. Too many cake stands look funny on a table (cause most have nibbles not cakes). Also, a smaller stand? Maybe a trio of sizes and heights?

    Thanks, Linda, for the warm cheer. I'm happy to be back!!

  4. Hi Patti, thanks, I'll be working on that video real soon.

    Hi Meredith, thanks, I am having fun with these.

    Hi Kittie, thanks, I can make them in any size. The one with the swirls is actually not that tall. You've given me an idea of making a display with varying heights too. I just might start right in. I've been taking a break from making trying to clear out my drying cabinets and get everything glazed and I'm ready to start making more.

    I really love your comments and questions since you look at my work from a fresh perspective and it gives me ideas. Sometimes I may not 'see the forest because of the trees' - type of thing.

  5. success! good for you. these are challenging forms. a compass is a good idea for your circles. i throw all my parts on the wheel so getting circles is easy ;-). most of mine warp slightly in the firing and i can accept it if it isn't too bad.

  6. I am not a potter, but I am a person who likes to see and read about other people doing what they love to do. I think you do a great job. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  7. I adore your cake stands. I am an avid cake baker and find that cakes look grander elevated, so have 7 or 8 different ones in my collection. Yours, however, are nicer than any that I have!! Well done.

  8., you have been busy.I, too, appreciate how well you explain the processes of your work. I put swirls on my work by centering the piece on my banding wheel.
    I always thought that clay with more grog holds its' shape better, even flat pieces on a stand..???? what do you think with all this experimenting you are doing. T.

  9. Hi Turquoisemoon, thanks.

    Hi Michele, thanks, are yours fired to Cone 10, those always have the potential of warping more I think.

    Hi Mary, thanks, glad someone who isn't a potter enjoys my posts too.

    Hi Ronna, thanks, and welcome, so glad I got your approval on my cake plate since you're an expert.

    Hi Trish, thanks, I plan to start making similar pieces now that I have an inventory of forms and glazes, mixing and matching.

  10. Wow, these are really great! Thank you for the explanations, too. The process people use in various types of art are always intriguing.

  11. Hi Trish and Rob, thanks, so glad those other than potters like hearing about the process.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment