Ceramic - Pottery Dictionary

by Susan Mussi

BORDERS (5) Plates spacing designs.

ca: SANEFES (5) Espais per els dissenys.

es: CENEFAS (5) Espacios para diseñarlos.

Plate border spacing: The plate should be marked with a pencil line in the center of the border at the top, the point that falls halfway between the two holes on the back and helps to orientate the correct marking on of the design.

Start with the plate borders: First calculate how many times you want the design to be repeated and then prepare the drawings to size. If the design has to be repeated eight times then the drawing has to occupy ⅛ of the circumference of the border. Starting at the pencil line already marked at the top-center, which should be marked in a different way to distinguish it from the others, mark the eight spaces round the edge, leaving the same distance between each one. Calipers can be used for spacing. Open them to the size needed, move around the plate, marking the points.

Plate Layout If the plates you use are molded so each one is the same size, you can make the work quicker and more exact by doing the layout of the design on paper. The layout sets out the spaces needed to fit the repeated designs into the border. There are two basic layouts for spacing borders b) 16, 8, 4 and c) 12, 6 and 3. You need 1 piece of paper for the layout and one that is cut for each size of plate you use.

(a) For the layout it is easier to use squared paper which should be cut out to be slightly bigger than the plate. Geometrically work out and draw the lines for the spaces you need, the more exact the better. In the layout diagram, above left, the spacing for 16, 8 and 4 is shown but the same paper can be used for the others, just by marking the lines with different colors. Draw squares that are the width of the circumference of the plates you use. Lay this paper on a flat surface and on top lay another piece of paper which has been cut in a circle to fit the size of the plate you are working with. With a ruler mark the lines on to it using the layout to correctly place them, then cut out a small triangle at the edge of each line so the inside point falls exactly on the line.

Lay it on top of the plate and with a soft lead pencil mark the centers of the triangles needed for your design. If the pattern is going to be repeated eight times, mark every other one.

Read more about: Majolica: 5e – Preparing to paint plates and Majolica: 5f – Twelve plates painted

The next section; Borders (6) Plates Painting