I don’t want anyone to know that I often do things that are downright easy to do. I learned how to do these trays last year in Naples, Florida when I was doing a tag team workshop with Hayne Bayliss. Hayne does some great hand building and much more complex than I want to tackle.
Here is the process in a nutshell.

I roll out a bunch of slabs. I have a 1”thick piece of plywood the size of the tray I want to make that I place on the slab. You could have fancy petal rims on your trays. Mine are rectangular and square.  I cut out the clay and soften the edges where I cut by putting a piece of newspaper over the slab and rubbing the edge thru the newspaper. The arts section or the sports sections work best. I have found the obituaries really kill the work. I then let the slabs set up on sheets of drywall. When I think the slab will hold it’s shape I take it over to my oversize piece of foam rubber and press down on it with the wooden shape. You can use a smaller piece of plywood for the center and just push down on it.  Glue a handle on the plywood so you can push down and lift it out.  This is the not so handy guy’s hydraulic Ram Press. I put the trays on a board and handle them in the morning. Easy peasy.


Dennis Allen said…
Used to make a bunch of these when I was teaching kids.We liked them to be well centered so I made cardboard spacers the made sure the block was centered and square.I imagine you prefer wonky but some of your readers might be trying to make them straight and even.
cookingwithgas said…
Yep, easy. Made many of these for years. Then less and less after seeing them over and over in my neighborhood. I know a potter who has stacks of these in various sizes. Small and up. I like yours they are wonderful. I just about quit making them. A few now and again.
Annied01 said…
I set mine to dry on acoustic ceiling tiles. I like the wonky edges I get with this technique
Well at least you did not used styrofoam trays;)

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