Big Ceramic Store Blog

Trivets For The Holiday Or Every Day

Have you ever heard the saying, "It's the little things that make a difference?" I'm a big believer in that theory, especially when it comes to my pottery. How better to show off your creative side, then on your table, when you have guests?

Something as simple as a pretty table runner, fancy salt/pepper set, or a handmade trivet, can turn your plain table setting into one fit for magazines. Let's impress your family and friends this holiday season!

Grab your coffee and let's head to the studio! Oh, and by the way, we're running out of time to get this fired and ready for the table, so no procrastinating!I'm doing a holiday themed trivet because it's that time of year, but this project can be done in any theme you want. Also, since we're running out of time, I'm using a "once fired" method.

Materials List:

  • Piece of clay approximately 1/4" - 3/8" thick and medium leather hard
  • Engobe and underglaze
  • Xiem Applicator
  • Hand tools
  • Cookie cutters
  • Paint brushes/sponges

Let's make the trivet:

  • Gather your supplies and cut your trivet shape from the clay you have prepared


  • Using the cookie cutters, plan your design


  • Cut out the shapes, and save the cutouts


  • If you look closely, I've decided to cut out the small snowflakes, but for the large one, I just pressed hard enough to outline the flake. Then, I used a Kemper Wire Stylus, to carve out a channel for underglaze


  • Using an Xiem applicator, fill the channel with underglaze


  • After the underglaze is dry, flip the piece over to attach feet and center support
  • Using the cutouts you saved, place them on the trivet, and use a thin tipped tool to outline the design on the bottom of the trivet. (You will need 5 pieces, 4 feet, and 1 center support.)


  • Once you have them all outlined, score your marks and the 5 pieces you will be using. Apply a thin layer of Magic Water to all of them and attach the pieces.


  • Remember to finish the attachment sites by cleaning them up.


  • Using a sponge, apply a solid coat of engobe to the entire piece. I love to leave it a little blotchy on the back... maybe it's because, to me it shows off the fact it's handmade, but you can do it however you want.
    • A little note about engobes... they are part way between a slip and a glaze. They have a little flux added and will melt slightly. They can also be fired to a  vitreous state (usually cone 5 but check your product to be sure), and be food safe, in one firing...  no need to bisque fire first.

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  • After the engobe dries, lay the piece (top down) on a ware board, then place a second ware board on top of it to help reduce warping.
  • Fire to max cone and pretty up your table!

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