Thoughts on a Plate

Back in January just after the snow had gone I went down stairs for Breakfast to find a black envelope on the door mat with silver writing all over it! Mmm I thought maybe a party invite? On opening it I was shocked to find it was an invitation to a Silver Wedding! Isn’t that what your parents go to? or does this mean I’m a little bit older than I think I am?
After this age shock wake up call early in the morning, I thought ooh what to give as a present being the anniversary of my husband’s cousin and his wife, I thought to paint a gift would be appropriate being as I am Fired 4 U after all. Now as we sadly don’t get home to the north east very often, whilst I thought about a signature plate, a plate signed by your friends and family with their kind thoughts and a personalised design in the centre, I thought not practical as it could be another year before they get it back to them! Various other ideas flew through my head but I have to say I kept coming back to the signature plate idea. My husband, Bob, pointed out to me that as he was supporting the sponsored cycle ride ( being the back up car, not on a bike) for the charity we help with (   feel free to pause here and make a donation if you wish) and he would be in Tynemouth on the 10th April ,he could drop the plate off (not literally I hope) to Dave and Caroline a bit further up the coast in South Shields. Yes that famous town where Joe the winner of X factor last year comes from.

I designed the centre piece from scratch putting the ‘Bride’ Caroline, in 80’s style wedding dress and Dave the ‘Groom’ with only 3 hairs on his head being married 25 years and all that (although I have to point out he still has a full covering bless him). Caroline has been in the library service all her working life so I painted a pile of old leather bound books at her side making them look a bit like a wedding cake. Dave trained as a car mechanic and is a quality controller at Nissan so I painted a spanner beside him with ‘love’ painted down the handle. Then needing to preserve the painted design from food and drink I covered it up with clear plastic. So that was a couple of hours work just to do the painting after I had drawn the design.

So off we went to the Silver wedding celebration on 20th March and it was fascinating watching peoples reactions to the plate. Most had never come across this before and some had heard of it but not seen but it got the thumbs up as a great present. In order for the plate to be used safely after it is finished all the signatures have to be painted over! The signed piece was brought back home and here it is in stage 2: designed painted and signatures painted after another 2 hours work. The plate was signed both sides to allow for big messages and lots of guests.

  The front with design in the centre and good wishes now painted around it.

  The back of the plate of thoughts signed up with great messages of good wishes all painted up too.

Now I have to put the plate in Katy the Kiln to fire it and set the paints onto the pottery as to achieve a great finish on the writing I paint with a different type of under glaze paint to the ones we have in the studio for general use and this paint has to be fired to the pottery without glaze first.  After this is done I will glaze it by hand and then fire it again to fire the glaze on. Then I will put a photo up here of the finished plate of thoughts for my cousins in law! Dave and Caroline were thrilled when we took the plate up for them to the party and couldn’t believe the work involved to make the gift. But I have seen many thrilled and delighted faces when customers have come to collect these items, thrilled at being able to read the messages clearly and having a useful momento from any special occasion. These plates are great for special birthdays, family gatherings, wedding gifts, anniversary gifts, leaving or retirement gift as message books just get hidden in a cupboard. I have even done one for a first birthday!

So please leave your thoughts on this plate when you have finished reading and I will let you know when the photo of the finished piece is up her


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