Part of a new line of dinnerware designed exclusively by us, this hand-thrown porcelain salad plate is finished with a clear glaze so the natural color of the fine white clay shines through. The salad plate is 9" in diameter, and designed to be paired with our dinner plate. (
The Kaufmann Salad Plate is made of fine porcelain clay and finished with a clear glaze that allows the natural white color to shine through. Each plate is hand-thrown by expert ceramicists working in a small, eight-person studio in Oregon. The form balances both contemporary and classic details, with a simple coupe shape finished by a more formal flared rim. Whether you are setting it atop our dinner plate to prepare for a meal with friends, or putting together an afternoon snack, the salad plate will create a sense of elegance in the everyday.
To make each plate, a ceramicist weighs out almost three pounds of clay, then kneads it until all the fine particles point in the same direction, making the material easier to manipulate. It’s then thrown onto a potter’s wheel and shaped by hand. The delicate rims and edges are tuned with shaping tools. “A lot of making these dishes is muscle memory,” says the ceramicist. “Porcelain is finicky and requires skill to hand-throw. Your body starts to understand how the piece will form over time.”
Once formed, the plate is moved into a sauna-like room where the air is kept moist so the dish can dry slowly and evenly. There’s a small window of time to remove the piece, when it is not so soft that it will warp or so hard that it will crack. Experienced potters have a keen sense of when to transfer their ceramics to the kiln; the exact amount of time that a dish spends drying is dependent upon the local weather conditions, taking only eight hours in the humid summer and up to five days during a cold, dry winter. “There’s no physical way to rush the process,” the ceramicist explains. “Each dish must be bone dry, or the porcelain can shrink too fast and create an explosion in the kiln.”
Next, the plates are moved to the kiln and bisque-fired at 1,940 degrees Farenheit for 11 hours, and slowly dried for almost 20 more. Once removed, the glazing process begins. Each piece is sanded to remove any marks from the ceramicist’s sponge, then carefully wiped down, as dust trapped under the glaze could create surface discrepancies. The plates are dipped in a clear glaze that protects the porcelain while letting its natural white color shine through. Then, they go back into the kiln for a second firing, this time for nine hours at 2,167 degrees. A long cooling period prevents the dishes from cracking. “It’s an old way of making work,” notes the ceramicist.
While this porcelain plate can be cleaned in the dishwasher, we recommend hand washing to extend its life. Safe for use in oven and microwave. Do not place the plate over an open flame or expose it to sudden changes in temperature, such as moving from oven to freezer.
Please note that variance among dishes and within the glaze is normal; it is part of the beauty of the product. Each one is slightly different, giving character, texture and life to the organic form. That said, the size will be within a quarter inch of the original measurements.
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