Ideas for the shapes I create often come from Family, Friends and Customers. I’m looking forward to getting back in the studio this week to work out some new pieces for the fall and holiday season. Also on my ‘to do’ list is a familiar shape I will make again and again.
Over the last fifteen years (or more), I’ve been making a tray and serving bowl set. Originally, each free form tray was slumped over a piece of Styrofoam I had covered in masking tape. There are a few different sizes I use to create trays. More recently, I've played with pressing a wood shape in the clay to achieve a desired serving piece. I have a large collection of these forms in the studio.
I like to include a recipe card with clay pieces I sell. It answers the question, "What do I use this for?" and is another way of personalizing what I create. I play around with textures on the tray and repeat the pattern in the matching bowl.
I've experimented with different styles for the tray and shapes for the bowl. But the long tray style with matching bowl seems to be the most popular.
The most recent iteration of the Tray-n-Bowl features the two color process I use on many of my other clay pieces. I layer one color of underglaze with another color of glaze. I like how the pooled glaze highlights the applied texture. I've also changed the size and design of the matching bowl for the set.
As much as I enjoy adding new shapes to my clay repertoire, the familiarity of the Tray-n-Bowl sets is satisfying to make as well. This useful item has evolved with the techniques I've picked up and use along the way and continues to be a popular seller. I'll be restocking my inventory just in time for serving holiday goodies and gift-giving season!