The short story:
I’m launching a new piece to my webshop today! It’s an everyday bowl, the type of dish I like to eat every meal out of at home, instead of a plate. It’s made from a warm brown stoneware, measures 8″ x 2″, and is dishwasher and microwave safe. It’s available in Ocean (blue swirl) or Squid (black swirl). Click here to shop!
Now, for the long story…
Back in 2013, I made dishes for a restaurant for the first time, New York Sushi Ko. I was tasked with making 7 styles of small plates for a 7 course omakase menu. My inspiration for the color palette was, naturally, fish and the sea. One of the seven colorways I came up with for that job is what turned into my ‘Ocean’ colorway, which I later used on some shallow bowls. I had them as part of my regular rotation for a couple years, but because I throw each piece myself, I kind of burnt out on the repetition. Since then I have used the Ocean glaze on many other pieces, but have continued to get custom requests in the years since for that original bowl shape.
And you may remember last year I released a dinner plate line, which I used a new process for – RAM pressing! I wrote a blog post about the dinner plates here, but basically, for this piece, I sent an original bowl I had made to a third generation ceramics manufacturer in California, who made a steel mold of the piece, and then used a hydraulic press to press soft clay into the mold, hundreds of times. He then bisqued the bowls, which is firing them in the kiln to a low temperature so they’re ready to be glazed, and then he shipped them to me cross country on a pallet.
Now, all I have to do is glaze the bowls to order, and I’ve added a new colorway, called Squid, for monochrome lovers! Here’s why I decided to go with RAM pressing for this piece:
1- They’re all exactly the same size, which is nice for sets, as opposed to having 1/4″ or so variations.
2- The customer will get the bowls in 2 weeks or less as opposed to 6 weeks!
3- They cost slightly less: back in 2013, the same size bowls retailed for $80 each, now they’re selling for $68 for one with discounts for buying in sets.
4- Since I don’t have to throw them all myself, it obviously saves me time! Which frees me up to make more pieces 🙂
While RAM pressing certainly saves me time in the long run, the process of getting the final piece is no simple task, and I have been tweaking the piece with my manufacturer all year – I first sent him my original bowl back in January! So I have been waiting and waiting to share these with the world 🙂
I hope you enjoy them!
Thanks so much to Veronica Studio for helping me shoot the bowls!