How to Make a Primitive Platter

Meg Spielman Peldo makes a ceramic platter, breaks it, then reassembles it to create this work of art.


Materials and Tools:

8 to 9 lbs. of mid- to high-fire white stoneware
50 percent copper carbonate
50 percent kosher salt mixture
container of water
ceramic stains
copper wire
copper mesh
ceramic sealer
beach glass
electric kiln
pit kiln
kindling and wood
clay-cutting wire
potter's wheel
removable bat
rib tool
needle tool
wood-shaping tool
safety glasses
soap and water
two-part epoxy glue
wire cutters


1. Cut a piece of clay from the clay block. Wedge the clay to remove air bubbles.



2. Center the clay on a removable bat. Place the bat on a potter's wheel.

3. Open the clay and form it into a platter. Form the foot with clay tools.

4. Smooth the clay with a rib tool. Remove the bat from the potter's wheel.



5. Place the clay platter on a shelf and let it dry to the leather hard stage.

6. Put the platter back on the potter's wheel and trim the bottom with a wood shaping tool.

7. Tear into the rim in several places by pulling the clay apart with your hands.



8. Punch holes into the clay near the torn edges with a needle tool. These will be used for inserting wire to hold stones and other embellishments later.

9. Let the clay dry to the bone dry stage for about a week.

10. Bisque-fire the piece in an electric kiln to cone 06. Let cool.

11. Remove the platter from the kiln. Break it into pieces by dropping it on the floor.

12. Cover some pieces with ceramic stain washes.



13. Cover the bottom of a wood fire pit kiln with sawdust and sprinkle with copper/salt mixture.



14. Place the broken pottery pieces in the kiln, adding copper/salt, copper mesh and copper wire shapes as you layer the pieces.

15. Add kindling and wood, light the fire and continue feeding the fire for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Let cool overnight.

16. Wash the pieces and sand the sharp edges.

17. Mix two-part epoxy according to the manufacturer's directions. Apply the epoxy to the edges of the platter pieces and reassembles the fired platter.

18. Seal the primitive platter with ceramic or stone sealer.



19. Add stones and beach glass or found objects by wiring them to the platter through the previously punched holes. Twist the wires in the back of the platter to secure.

20. Wire the back and hang the primitive platter.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Landscape Design Supplies and Materials

How to choose the best landscape design supplies and materials for your next residential landscaping project

How to Make Mosaic Stained Glass Art

Make an easy stained glass art piece using colored glass, a glass cutter and grout.

How to Make Stained Glass Art

Create a distinctive stained glass design to dress up any window.

How to Make a Concrete Fire Bowl

No room for a fire pit? Make an easy concrete fire bowl that fits in a backyard of any size.

How to Make a Backyard Fire Pit

Create a cozy space for outdoor entertaining with a stone fire pit.

How to Make a Rowboat Sandbox

Inspire your little pirate's imagination and add nautical flair to your backyard with a one-of-a-kind sandbox made from a wooden rowboat.

How to Make a Garden Compost

Save money and the environment with these simple steps for creating a natural fertilizer.

How to Make Hummingbird Food

This super-simple cost-effective recipe will keep your backyard friends happily humming.


Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.