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What You Need to Know About Cocktail Mixing Sets

Clay art dinnerware in a variety of shapes and textures is a snap to make with commercially available clay molds. First, cut a pattern from the newspaper the size you want for your finished plate.

The shape is up to you – round, oval, square, rectangular, as you prefer. Roll out a slab of clay of about ½ inch thickness using either a rolling pin or a mechanical slab roller. Place the pattern on top of the slab and use a fettling knife (or a plastic picnic knife) to cut out the plate. The leftover clay will be used for the feet.

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Next press the plate down onto a textured slab mold with a small sandbag. Use a firm, rolling motion from the center to the edges, all around the plate, to impress the design thoroughly into the clay.

Press the clay further into the textured slab mold, and smooth out the top, using a pony roller. You can bevel the plate's edges with the pony roller's small curved roller. You can texture the top of the plate with a texture worm or other type of texture tool – even wooden or rubber stamps, or found objects such as leaves.

Remove the plate gently from the textured slab mold and center it upon a slump mold then gently (so as not to erase the textured pattern) press the plate to fit the slump mold's curvature. When the plate is firm, remove it from the slump mold and smooth its edges using a sure-form tool and damp chamois.

Next, make the plate's feet or foot. To make feet, roll four identical one-inch clay balls and mark on the plate where they will go – from a quarter to a third of the way from the rim of the plate to its center.