DINNERWARE SET FOR TWELVE… How long does it take to make?


Well if your a potter making it for your family…. about three or four years.  It’s like the carpenters house never getting done…  I finally started to make the dinnerware set the week before Christmas.  The week after New Years I made the lunch plates. 

After many conversations with my apprentice Pam about how long pottery takes to make, I have decided blog about a dinnerware set from start to finish.  This subject will be a series of explainations on the processes involved, and the time each process takes. Pam will hopefully add her two cents here and there… or anyone else who wants to comment is welcome.


The setting… Dec. 22, kids home on holiday break… fit in whatever hours you can.  I send them outside to sled and snowboard, that will give me a couple of hours.  The snow is gorgeous… the studio is warm.  The music I’m listening to today is Jack Johnson, Annie Lenox, The Indigo Girls.  I’m going to make my dinner plates… fifteen to start, hopefully getting  twelve when all is said and done.

9:50 – 10:20 …wedge 15 pieces of clay weighing 4 lbs each.  Total – 1/2 hour, 60lbs… a good workout.

10:30 – 11:35… throw 15, 10 1/2 ” plates (which are actually 11 1/4 and will shrink during the firing).  Clean the wheel.

This is actually the quickest part of the whole process for me… I don’t find throwing the plates that difficult… it is the rest that wears on me… the  trimming, drying, and all the things that go wrong with plates…warping, cracking, glazing, etc.

11:40 just done on time… kids are in… cold… snow pants, gloves, hats and jackets, wet as can be.  Put the mac and cheese on…. be a MOM.

1:00 – 1:10 turn all the plates around 180 degrees so they don’t dry un-evenly from the pellet stove.

Be a Mom again… its vacation.

4:00 – 4:10 turn all plates again.

8:00 – 8:15 rotate plates from front of table to back, back to front.  Cover all plates lightly with plastic.



Next :  Trimming plates!


8 thoughts on “DINNERWARE SET FOR TWELVE… How long does it take to make?

  1. As a studio potter myself, I’d also like to add that even though it took about an hour for you to throw the plates, there are the years of practice to get to that point. Many times, people don’t account for the “unseen” things like the failed attempts and the years of practice to get to where we are today.

    Looking forward to the rest.

  2. I saw your post today and can’t believe the great timing. i just found out a good friend of mine is getting married this summer so I decided to make my first dinnerware set. This series of post will help me soooo much.

    BTW I love your video’s on YouTube that is how I found your blog.

  3. So glad I discovered your blog. Your blogs are like reading and watching a reality show. Getting to know you better. Love it.

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