Thursday, November 18, 2010
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.