A year ago I tried making a couple of large lidded oval bakers. They turned out well and were sold as soon as they came out of the kiln. (Why does Dave Ericson a;ways show up to help unload?) I decided to try a longer run of the last week. Here is a simplified step by step of their making.
I started by throwing a series of low wide cylinders and reshaping them into a trefoil type oval.
The body of the pot is then placed on the bottom and “wiggled” around until I feel it start to stick. I then smooth down the edges with my finger inside and out and cut all the way around it with a wooden knife tool and then trim away the excess clay from the bottom with a fettling knife.
Using a triangular rib I scrape away excess clay from the base and undercut it a little. I like to leave the “deckle edges” where they occur.
With the oval baker still on the wheel I stick a couple of handles on and pull them in place.
Next I cover the bakers with light plastic and roll out a slab of clay a little bigger than the pot for each one and set them aside.
After the slab has had time to stiffen up some I use a hard rubber rib to press the slab into the rim of the baker carefully stretching it to give it an inverted dome shape.
After I have finished shaping the lid I trim around the edge of the baker with a needle tool and let the lids and bakers dry and stiffen together.
When the lid is stiff enough to handle but still pliable I turn it over and trim it along the line left in the clay from the rim of the baker using a needle tool on the outside and a fettling knife on the inside. I also smooth the rim of the lid with my fingers and a little water if needed.
With the lid trimmed and smoothed I pull a strap handle, bend it and attach it to the lid. I fit the lid to the baker by gently adjusting the shape of the baker to conform to the lid and by shaping the lid with a sureform. This is only going to work if the baker is still somewhat pliable. THe moisture content of the baker is critical and can be maintianed by wetting the baker and keeping it covered until the lid is ready.
These six bakers were made and put together over a three day period.