Though I'm in the firing end of the making cycle in the studio, I am still doing wetwork demos for my classes. This platter is made by securing cloth over the top of a container and then draping a thick slab over it. Some call it a sling mold (say this in the voice of Billy Bob Thornton.) I like sling molds because any size platter you want to make, there is a container in the world that will serve as the mold for that platter. Look in the home storage department at Target for larger ones, or in the food storage aisle at the grocery store for smaller ones. This one if held in place with rope but a big rubber band would work or, if your mold is wood or cardboard, you can staple the cloth in place. I leave the clay quite thick - maybe 5/16ths inch. I hate a flimsy platter.
If I catch this platter at the exact right moment I won't need to put a foot on it: I can just take it out of the mold and tap it on the tabletop to flatten the bottom. If I miss my moment, I'll throw a ring for the foot.
It was two demos in one: I showed my students how to make the sling mold, and then used the platter I made to show them a couple of slip techniques. The checkerboard pattern I made by cutting squares of newspaper and sticking them to the damp clay, then brushing white slip over them; the flowers are a brush embroidery technique.
But that was yesterday, and yesterday's gone. Today I a back in the glazing/firing end of the cycle. I'll be applying flashing slip and waxing pots all day.