Square or round?
When I first started working in ceramics, I was drawn to square forms. I tried throwing on the wheels for about 3 years creating bowls and plates like other potters but I was never as enthralled as when I could make a square piece. I enjoy my slab roller making square slabbed forms boxes such as a charity box or Tzedakah box. I fall in love over and again with my Scott Creek extruder when I mass produce my rectangular sponge holders. I have seen many round sponge holders with cuts in the middle or open holes in the front to house the sponge but logically sponges are rectangular so why wouldn’t sponge holders? It is no wonder the sponge holders have become my number one seller on the Etsy Shop Extrudergirl.
Recently, I have taken to making plates. I love the authenticity of creating a handmade plate as opposed to throwing a plate on the potter’s wheel. There is more intimacy in the process for me. The mark of the potter is very present instead of the clean smoothness of a wheel thrown plate. As I was photographing the latest sets of round plates for my Etsy shop, I realized I had no square plates in my dinner plate’s series. This was not a conscious decision but perhaps a psychologically unconscious one based on practicality and design
Are round plates fashioned out of habit or functionality? I think as food eaters we are trained from an early age to eat on round plates. Was it easier to form round objects before the potter’s wheel when pinching plates, cups and bowls? In the early years of potter resources were limited so pressing clay in the palm of your hand or onto a surface such a wide stone would lend towards a shape being round. Are round plates out of necessity for space on a dining table? When setting a dining table round plates allows for easy access to the flatware and drinking vessels. Are round plates traditional and square are modern? After all sushi plates, another good sellers of mine, are square or rectangular. The Chinese had mastered porcelain in the early 600AD; the process of kiln firing and glazing that potters continue to use today. Once” trade routes opened to China in the 1300’s” (WorldCollectors), dinner plates became sought after by European nobility; so round plates have been a-round forever.
Square or round? You can get the same amount of food on both designs with the same volume. Open your dish cabinet, do you have square or round? I bet they are round. Don’t feel so bad, I am guilty too of only using rounds plates. But rest assure, there are going to be square plates on my Etsy shop soon.
WorldCollectors. (n.d.). Collector Plates and Plate Collecting. Retrieved from worldcollectorsnet.com: http://www.worldcollectorsnet.com/features/plates/