Roaring dragon in progress pt 1

I’m trying to figure out where I’m going to start this blog from.
I might back track further toward the beginning of the year.
For now, I am making 9-up progress photo mosaics to show my 14 inch plate in progress.

This is two fold, it’s also a way for me to clock the total hours I’ve spent working on this plate, to date.


maiolica reproduction in progress

Background on the creation of the plate itself

Through Instagram posts, I date the creation of my plate as Feb. 10, when I excitedly threw a plate measuring 15 3/4 inches.

I created the plate to work on a piece closer to scale, to show just how gorgeous these maiolica pieces really are.

It took three tries to finalize this one, two plates died before this.

I will make a separate 9-up about the plate making process and deaths of my plates.

After throwing it, letting it firm up and dry a bit for a week, I trimmed it and had to wait a month for it to dry out before it could be fired.

I didn’t start the glazing process until June 11. I was researching and flipping through a lot of resource photos to see what I wanted to create as my first large piece.

Why I chose this design

I picked the dragon plate as a great example of the extent and complexity of banding in maiolica.  This piece is an example of Italians trying to replicate the Islamic-influenced geometric style of the Spanish Hispano-moresque ware.

The designs on this piece are free-hand drawn, although in period they could have used half plate or quarter plate templates through pouncing.

The purpose, I reasoned at the time, was to work on my shading skills, since I want to build up to reproducing more complex scenes 50-100 years later in the maiolica timeline.

I started this project with the intention of finishing it before Steppes Artisan in July. That was quite a lofty and impractical goal. As the date drew closer, I knew it would not be ready, and did not rush. Instead, I worked actively on the piece, but also with detail and precision.

A lot goes into the practice of maiolica. Glazing requires several coats for opacity, so while the piece looks vibrant at the moment, if fired, it would be very pale and the white tin-oxide base could be seen through the image.

This blog will chronicle its progress, as well as my Instagram feed, which can be seen in the column to the right.

Until my next post,



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