Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Good Day for Platters

I don't really make platters. I mean, I don't not make platters; I'm not morally opposed to platters. But they are messy to make, slinging a lot of slurry around, and they have a really high loss rate due to warping, cracking, and big bubbly blobs of soda glaze landing on them. (Anything wide is at greater risk of big bubbly blobs.)

But it's February, and these platters can dry for months if need be; and anyway I just felt like it. Truth be told I really just wanted large surfaces to decorate!

I started with the largest one. I was playing with different methods of slip application, trying to get different qualities of line. I used a standard metal-tip slip bottle, a ziplock bag with a corner snipped off, and a pastry tube with a small star tip. You can see the lines here:
L to R: Pastry Tube, Slip Bottle, Ziplock baggie
I had in my mind an image sort of like a Japanese cherry-blossom painting; like this

or this
or this

I wanted to capture something of that feeling, but not try to simply make a slip-duplicate. They have a loose/tight quality...a perfect imperfection...that was the feeling I was looking for.

I started with my new best friend, food coloring:

 Then I used the pastry tube, which made the thickest line.
On to the thinner lines:

And finally to the blossoms. Here I had a decision: I could go with the more literal slip-embroidery look, or just suggest blossoms with slip dots. I went with option B.

So....hmmm. Not sure if it reads in the photograph, but that is some really high relief. (Click the photo to see a larger version. The depth of the relief is evident) It's wonderful and gooey and very appealing, but now I am wondering if it will compromise the function of the platter.
Think, think, think, says Pooh.

Sometimes, as it dries, slip flattens out a bit.  Maybe that will happen in this case. If it doesn't, I can still try sponging the slip-relief. That will flatten it out, and also soften up the image...for good or ill.

Still have two platters to decorate!

PS. Here's the beginning of the next one, which will have sprigs and a scalloped border of slip dots.

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