My Journey Of Making Ring Dishes, Soap Dishes and Spoon Rests

Do you enjoy learning new things, or do you just want to get to the end?

I have been making pottery since 2003. Pottery is not an overnight success. There are many steps from a bag of clay to the end product; one step at a time like climbing stairs. Sometimes I don’t even know what the finished product will be like.

Turning pottery on the wheel takes many years to master. While I was learning to turn cups, bowls, vases etc. I hand-built items. This gave me the satisfaction of a finished product, especially when I was frustrated with my failed wheel-turning attempts.

One of the hand-built items I make are small dishes for soap, jewelry, and spoon rests. I started making spoon reats from maple leaves. I gathered maple leaves from the forest behind my house. I rolled out clay and pressed leaves into the clay then cut the clay around the leaf. I’ve made several colours of maple leave spoon rests.

Spoon Rests Shaped Into Maple Leaves

When my mother-in-law passed away and we cleaned out her house I found many cotton doilies. I Remember my aunts couch and tables decorated with these crochet doilies. I’ve always liked doilies. I thought these would make interesting ring dishes. I press them into clay for this embossed flower design. I removed the doily, cut the clay around the doily design and laid it in my shallow dish to dry. I added a foot ring or knobs on the bttom for feet. They make beautiful ring dishes that look like flowers.

I press a cotton doily into clay creating a flower for a ring dish

Continuing with my learning steps I acquired rectangle take-out dishes. These were the perfect size for soap dishes. I lined the dish with plastic and then pressed a slab of clay into it to make a rectangular soap dish. The plastic allowed me to lift it out. With another slab of clay I’ll cut out animals, birds, butterflies or flowers from cookie cutters and laid them in the bottom of the dish.

A soap dish formed from a plastic takeout tray. A cookie cutter frog to add cuteness.

I poured plaster inside these dishes and made another mould which I drape the clay over smoothing it around the plaster. These dishes are a bit bigger for larger bars of soap, butter relishes or jewelry dishes.

Take Out Tray & Plaster Mould Made From The Tray for Soap Dishes

Recently I bought wooden forms to make intricate dishes. What I’d learned about clay and glazes and how it performs prepared me for making these decorative dishes. I’m not sure how they would have turned out or how frustrating it would be to make them if I didn’t know how clay performs and its properties.

An oval ring dish made from one of my new wooden forms. I like the rounded corners.

I didn’t abandon wheel turning. I’ve even mastered turning a plate upside-down to make a foot. I cut them off the bat with a wiggle wire creating groves for soap to sit in. I drape them over a mold to form them into a shallow dish.

Turned on the wheel upside-down then cut off the wheel with a wiggle wire.

I’d like to hear about your learning journey. Write them in the comments below.

The square wooden form makes cute little dishes. I pressed this turkey carved stamp into it for more cuteness.

You can buy my ring dishes and soap dishes and more on my Etsy site.


Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount


Or enter a custom amount

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: