Create Beauty in Clay!
Using the MKM Decorating Disk
This tool is designed to simplify and speed up the process of doing symmetrical decoration on any form.
Use the MKM Decorating Disk™ to accurately make your marks in just seconds, and have them be right on every time.
The MKM Decorating Disk™ is a set of two (one even, one odd divisions) 15-½ inch sturdy transparent Mylar sheets. Use the concentric circles on them to quickly center your piece. Colored radial lines indicate even divisions (2, 4, 6, 8, 10) on one sheet, and odd divisions (3, 5, 7, 9) on the second sheet. The secret is the holes. Along the radial lines are holes that allow you to mark through the disk to the soft, leather hard, or bisqued clay below. Simply put a disk on top of (or underneath) your pot, center it using the concentric circles, and make your marks through the holes that lie along the radial lines in the sheet.
Use the disks to:
• Make square, hexagonal, or other sided plates.
• Set the initiation points for patterns in halves, 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths, 7ths, 8ths, 9ths, or 10ths.
• Make your add-ons (handles, spouts, dents, etc.) or cut-outs perfectly symmetrical each time.
• Alter the rim in 3rds, 5ths, 8ths, or 10ths (etc.) around a bowl or plate.
• Set the corners for a rectangular or other shaped jar or lid.
• Do complex symmetrical spiraling.
• Measure cut-outs in the feet of your pots very quickly.
• Center and make cut-out lids quickly and easily.
• Set up symmetrical patterns or pattern sections (like quilt squares or pie sections or for stamping and otherwise decorating your pots, tiles, etc.
A smaller 4 inch model is also available. The smaller size is useful for decorating smaller items and interiors of bowls, etc.
The secret is the holes! Hundreds of small holes located at the intersection of the concentric circles and radial lines all the user to actually mark right through the disk. So you can mark you pot without having to move the disk first. This is what makes the disk so functional.
Being able to mark right through the disk is one of the keys to the functionality of the MKM Decorating Disk.
Glaze or Slip Decorating with the disk.
Here the Odds Divided MKM 16 inch Decorating Disk has been placed on a sheet of paper so that you can see what is being done. The disk is actually transparent.
Here I am using a cut-off brush to put dots of glaze on a small bowl that has been turned upside down on top of the disk.
It is easy to make square, pentagonal, hexagonal, or other sided plates using the MKM Decorating Disk.
After throwing a plate or bowl and waiting until it is leather hard, I first trim the foot on the form.
I then center the disk right on top of the bowl or plate and mark out the corner points of the shape.
Without even turning it over (unlike what I have done in the picture), I then use either a flexible ruler or a piece of cardboard to connect the corner marks and then cut along the edge of the rule or cardboard.
Altering while wet.
Refining the altering just after throwing.
Place the disk right on the wet clay and mark through the holes to the clay below. Then remove the disk and move out the corners in whatever fashion you choose (I usually use my finger.)
When the clay is just a little stiffer, the disk can be put back on the form and the corners refined, adjusted, or just placed slightly more accurately if it was done quick and dirty the first time.
Placing handles and handle cut-outs.
Cut-outs for handles can easily be located by using the Even Divisions disk. In this case the cutout was centered on the halfs line, and then the width of the cutout was located at the tenths line on each side of the 'center' halfs line.
The cut-outs were then cut with a fettling knife, smoothed and rounded with a sponge, and then the handles attached above the cut-outs.
Use the disk to mark bats or the wheelhead.
When the marks wear off, it is easy to reapply them with the MKM Decorating Disk.
Use the disk with even divisions to find the center spot on an oval form in order to do some cut-outs or to add handles. This same procedure can be done with square and other polygonal shapes.
Oval forms can be centered and marked or altered in a variety of ways using the MKM Decorating Disk. Use the disk with even divisions to center the form, and go from there.
Almost any symmetrical pot can easily be accommodated by the MKM Decorating Disk.
This form is made by Reid Schoonover.
Getting rough glazing patterns (in this case with sponge and brush strokes on a shino) right is easy with the MKM Decorating Disk.
After the first layer of glaze has been applied, either turn the pot over onto the Decorating Disk, center it using the radial lines, and make your makes as needed. Note that the disk can also simply be placed on top of the pot.
Finding the corners of a square plate for any size up to 15 inches diagonal is extremely easy with the MKM Decorating Disk.
Many square plates start round. Using the concentric circles, center the plate, then mark the plate using the quarter divisions. Connect the points with a flexible piece of cardboard or plastic, and cut.
The MKM Decorating Disk can also be used to make complex patterns on the top side of the plate once it has been cut square (or rectangular, triangular, etc.)