Something Useful

It seemed like an interesting challenge to make something that’s both useful and beautiful – or at least cute! After some thought, I settled on these little dishes.  They could be trinket dishes, soap dishes, or dishes for dipping sauce.
I made my own plaster drape mold for the basic shape.  To make the mold I partially filled an old plastic pasta sauce container, whose shape I liked, with plaster of Paris.  It took about three days for the plaster to dry completely and I was getting more and more impatient to start on my project.
I knew I wanted something on the bottom and something on the rim.  And for the bottom, I wanted a pretty flat design.  So I settled on the lizards and leaves.  The leaves only stick up about 1/8″ from the flat bottom of the dish.  That would allow soap to drain, but wouldn’t interfere with contents if one chose to use them as trinket or sauce dishes.  As far as the sauce dish goes, though, I would recommend not using them to hold something you would have to get out with a spoon as the metal spoon might chip the edge of the leaves.
The lizards were fun to sculpt and I developed a quick and pretty good method for making them.  The head, body, and tail are a single piece.  Then I made two little balls of clay, one larger than the other, and cut them in half.  The smaller hemispheres made the shoulders and upper arms while the larger ones made the hips and upper legs.  Then I rested the lizard on the rim where I wanted it and marked where the feet should go on the dish.  I attached the feet/lower leg pieces directly to the dish, then pressed the rest of the lizard in place.  Smoothing the joints and adding the texture were the final touches.
I’m thinking turtles would be good subjects also, maybe with flat shells as the design for the bottoms of the dishes.


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