Making an Egg Separator

For the month of January, my inspiration for the studio was eggs! My usual process of creating generally begins with a sketchbook that I draw my ideas in, and this time, my brain went right to egg cartons-- thinking of different shapes and styles from the usual slip-casted versions you’d see in a department store. The first versions I made in my studio turned out fine, but I was looking for something more. Something different.

After hitting a certain level of creative block, I went to the kitchen to take a break and bake some merenguitos for my upcoming food post. The recipe called for about a dozen eggs, which was perfect! I needed to hold them, use them, and think about them in a different way. As I was separating egg white after egg white, I started imagining a better way to do it-- maybe a slotted dish that I could attach onto the rim of a bowl.

It was back to the studio to create some mockups! The concept was there, but once I bisque fired them, I couldn’t get the separator to stay on the rims of my kitchen bowls. By chance, I had also fired some some cups in that same kiln load, and voila! It hit me!  Instead of a bowl, I modified my separator into more of a lid attachment on top of a cup-- something more simple, small, and with the perfect amount of quirk!  

Slab-Constructed Ramekins

A ramekin is a small dish for individually portioned food, basically it’s a personal dessert dish. Something that you can hoard all to yourself, absolutely no sharing involved, just the way I like it. Now the ramekins that are found in most restaurants and stores are either slip-casted or machined made. I didn’t want to stray too wildly from the classic round design, but i definitely wanted a different style than the ones below that i grabbed off of google images.

Changing how it was made was the best way to change the style, so I went right to the wheel to work on some forms, which worked out wonderfully. However i still felt it needed more of a handmade quality, something that didn’t involve the use of of another material or machine.  In ceramics there are three different styles of hand building: Pinch, Coil, and Slab construction. For this shape and my personal style preference I thought a slab construction would be a great fit.

Making a slab can be done many different ways, since I like to bake I personally feel comfortable with a rolling pin. So I rolled out a piece of clay to the right thickness, then similar to making cookies, I cut out circle shapes.

For the sides of the ramekins I rolled out a rectangular slab, and cut out long strips that I then wrapped around the outside of the circle.

The most important part is smoothing out all the pieces, making sure the seam is secure, and that there are no air bubbles in between the pieces of clay.

Hand building is a slow process, but it is also extremely relaxing I spent an entire afternoon drinking tea and listening to Wall-E play in the background. It was such a joy to make these, the hand-building process always feels so organic. i recommend any potters out there who are stuck in a rut, to go make some slab-constructed creations (some Pixar playing in the background couldn't hurt either).

Has anyone ever made a souffle before? i'm getting nervous, tips are appreciated!