Thursday, January 31, 2008

Welcome Thursday

I started out with a post going on and on about how crazy yesterday was. But I'll just spare you the details and say "Welcome, Thursday!"

The workmen laid the tile in the kitchen yesterday. It looks good and will look even better when it's grouted and all the stuff is back in there.

I finished reading Danny Gregory's book Everyday Matters last night. I want to approach my drawing in a more relaxed way. Just have fun. I sometimes put off doing a drawing because of some lame excuse like, "there's nothing here interesting to draw", "it will take too long", " I have to get up off the couch". Lame, lame, lame. Danny once again has inspired me.

Hopefully I'll have some glazed earthenware to post by Monday!

I downloaded a trial version of Insight glaze software the other night. This could get addictive. It's one of those things that would keep me up till 2 am.

Time for breakfast, a drawing, and off to the Arts Council to check on my bisque kiln. Thanks for checking in. I promise to post some pottery images soon.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cardew Video

My pal Doug put this video of the great Michael Cardew up on his blog yesterday. I thought I'd share it with you here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tuesday Pottery Post

Okay so today is basically a day to get ready to fire. I have to work out my schedule so I can fire a bisque and glaze load of earthenware at the Arts Council and a bisque and salt kiln load here. Both bisques will probably happen tomorrow and the salt kiln on Saturday (I think).

I have a workman coming tomorrow to lay ceramic tile in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry hall. We have moved everything out of those areas so the house is in total disarray. Hopefully we'll be back to normal by Saturday.

Well I must get to work. I have to teach tonight so it's gonna be a long day ahead.

Get This Book

My copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day arrived yesterday. I am so excited to finally get it. I've been making the basic bread using their recipe for about 3 or 4 weeks now after hearing about the book on NPR. Now I can expand my repertoire.

If you want to make homemade bread I highly recommend this book. The method is easy to learn and truly takes only minutes a day of hands on time to bake a fresh loaf of bread ( and much more). As a matter of fact I baked a loaf this morning right after I got up. The house smells great.

I'll be trying out their pizza dough this weekend and I can't wait to make a loaf of rye.

Thanks to the authors, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois for a wonderful book.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Having Fun

I decorated these earthenware trays today. They are around 4" x 6". I have a group of pots drying on the wood stove tonight including these. I'll be bisquing on Wednesday and want to get everything good and dry.

I had fun trying out a couple new deco methods here. The top right is white slip with some green slip 'hills' and a little incised bird. Below that I dipped the tray in white slip and then drew the chicken form in latex resist. After that dried I covered that in black slip and later peeled off the latex and incised some details. Lastly a few white slip dots over the black slip. The others are pretty self explanatory. That chicken is pretty cool, eh?
They will all get the amber glaze.
Cheers. Ron

New Tests

I unloaded the test kiln this morning. Sorry that these pics are somewhat blurry. Hopefully you'll get the general idea.
This first image is an amber glaze. I tested a fritted clear glaze with 2, 4 and 6 % black iron oxide. (left to right) All over a white slip. My original amber was fluxed with Gerstley Borate and I thought I'd try a fritted glaze instead. It seems to have crazed less, although I wonder if I'll get some delayed crazing. Anyhow I like the 4% the best for most purposes, but the other two are perfectly acceptable also.
Next I tried these same glazes over a new green slip. These tiles were dipped in white slip and then the new green slip, part way down. Then the new fritted amber glazes 2, 4, 6 % left to right. I like the one with the 4% over this new green slip. The orginial green had 5% oxide so I decreased this down to 3% after looking at Clive Bowen's recipe for green slip. I do think I could put this new slip on a tad thicker and get more of a contrast with the white. (Notice that little thicker drip on the upper right corner of the middle tile).
Here is the fritted amber with 4% on the left, and the original gerstley amber with 8%. Both are nice and I will use both in this next load of pots to see what I like. I should have tested the fritted amber with 8% but it didn't occur to me at the time.
Some things to think about as I look at these...maybe I could have kept the original green at 5% oxide and it would look okay with the 4% amber. Also, my friend Leon suggested I try a white slip that is more vitreous. So I will work on that for future firings. He thought that may help reduce the crazing and I think maybe seal the body more.

Okay that's it for now. I have a few hours in town, barber, library, post office and a trip to the hardware store. So I better get to work. I am getting ready to fire the salt kiln and a load of earthenware, so lots to do to prepare.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Nothing Special

I made a few animal jars out of the earthenware and here are two of them. (I've got to stop stating the obvious). Anyhow, I am doing some more glaze and slip tests in the little electric kiln over the weekend. Hopefully I'll find a green slip that I like and I am going to do a line blend of my amber glaze to see which percentage of black iron oxide I like best.

I may move up a cone in my next firing to see what happens.

Regarding my last post, I know I can over generalize sometimes and maybe take things a little too personally, so don't think I'm some kind of snob or something, although Sarah has accused me of being one in the past.

My friend Will is having an opening in Athens, Georgia. He's an awesome guy. If you are in that area please go check it out.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Rambling On

Yesterday I had a long phone conversation with my friend Niel Hora. Niel and I met at Penland several years ago. We call each other from time to time to catch up and end up on the phone for at least an hour. We seem to always be on the same wavelength and are able to ask questions of one another freely and bounce ideas or problems back and forth. Or just grumble and complain about how much we still have to learn.

So yesterday we had a big talk about earthenware clay, which is Niel's medium, and how there are certain problems related to it such as porosity, and glaze crazing, and somewhat of a stigma here in the States that's it's kinda wimpy, ie not stoneware or porcelain. ( I have a story to tell on that front but it will wait for a while).

I have found, and Niel agreed, that these days most folks are into slick, no wear and tear, materials. Consumers that is. Kitchens are more and more stainless steel, pots and pans are bright orange, blue, and neon green. There are silicon muffin pans (not muffin TINS mine you). Americans want clean, pristine things. I had a lady return a couple plates she had for years. They were heavily used and she complained that the slip was wearing in some areas. Well that's what happens. I replaced them of course, but maybe I should have shared my believe than pots get better with age. Bakers take on a patina with years of use in the oven. Cups get chips and stains from mornings of use, being filled over and over again with tea and coffee. I have a wonderful teapot made by one of the nations finest potters, the slip on it has faded with use, it even has this 'moldy' quality about it. (Maybe I need to wash it) Ha. No, I love that pot, I love the timelessness of it, I know that I will use for years and one day it will break, and it will be irreplaceable. But I'll remember it and I'll have those years of memories with it.

Anyhow, Niel and I talked about all this kind of thing. We talked about how earthenware has had a vast history in other cultures and has been put to use all over the world. We got in this discussion after I expressed concerns about continuing working in earthenware clay. Obviously I had been taken in by the notion that it was inferior, or had problems. Niel assured me that he has had success in using and marketing his wares, as have many others.

So I mention some of this as I explore what I love to do, make pots for use, and as I get ready to make some more red pots and solve my seepage problem. Which by the way, I found was isolated to mostly a handful of the pots I fired. They were probably under fired a bit so I expect I'll have better luck with this next batch (keep your fingers crossed) if I fire a little higher and maybe soak at the end. I still have a lot to learn.

Okay thanks for listening to yet another ramble. Have fun today.


I finished up my casseroles yesterday. I made 4 and here you can see two and a quarter. They are pretty straight forward pots, purely functional, and practical I think. Those strips of paper are there under the lids so that I could lift the lids off before I got the top handle on. Just a little tip.
Chae asked me about getting my lids to fit properly. I try to measure as carefully as possible but often mine don't fit perfectly. I throw my lids (and bodies) on batts. I leave the lids attached to the batts and don't wire them off. The next day I can turn the lid, batt and all, over and see if it fits. If it doesn't I'll put it back on the wheel and adjust it. Usually this is best if the lid is too large, then I can trim it down a little. It may not work so well if it's too small because you have to throw it out a bit. Try to use as little water as possible. I had to trim 3 out of 4 of these because they were slightly too large.

Below is my flour bin. It was a bit plain and I thought I'd just put this chicken sprig on it but it got further embellished as I went. I have seen Clary Illian use a coil in this manner but I was also thinking of Michael Kline's wonderful sliptrailing. I made three more of these but don't know if I'll decorate them like this or not.
I've got to go load a bisque, but I'll be back with another post in a bit.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Not Giving Up

I decided last night that I'm going to continue to pursue my earthenware pot making. I feel like I can get somewhere with it and I have really enjoyed the new experience. It's going to be a couple weeks before I can get back into making anything and I still have to figure out how to either fix that clay or maybe just mix another recipe. I think I can cut the clay I have with some commercial earthenware and run it through my pug mill. I'm gonna give that a shot and see what happens. I do have a kiln load of dishes and slab pots made that I will fire soon. I want to work on my decoration and composition. I am going to look at some historical pots on museum sites and try and order a few books. I found one last night called World Ceramics that a friend told me about. If you know of others let me know.

I didn't get those casseroles finished yesterday, but hopefully today I'll wrap those up as well as some tankards and other pots.

More later maybe.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I made Steak and Guinness pie for supper last night. So good.
Gotta brew up another large mug of tea and then I'm off to the workshop (15 feet commute) to finish off yesterdays pots. I'll try and get some images up before I leave to go teach tonight.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Pots from Monday

Just a few things from today. I've been meaning to make some ramekins. Not for sale but for my kitchen. I like to make chicken pie and shepherds pie and I never have ramekins. I usually just use a big baker but I think it'd be more fun to have these individual servings. So that's that. I could also use these for French onion soup which I make from time to time. I also made a few mugs, simple cylinder shapes that will get some sprigs and handles tomorrow.I haven't made any covered casseroles in a couple years. They aren't too hard to make and I don't know why I've put them off. So I made 4 today (one is off camera), and I also made a tall barrel shaped crock for flour (That's it in the back)
Tomorrow I'll get these lids turned and handles on the bases and lids. Should be more exciting to see then.

Gotta go check on supper.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

What's a Salt Pig?

Salt pigs keep your salt handy by the stove top. Just reach in for a pinch. Mine are rather small so maybe I should call these salt piglets. Here's one by John Leach with a handle. This is my first litter. I've had a customer asking for one so I thought I'd make 6 or 8 for my next show. My pal Tom makes them too.

A few slab trays and bowls that got cut yesterday. I'll be getting back into full production mode on Monday. I am in a show at the Cleveland County Arts Council that opens the first week in Feb. so I'll be firing the salt kiln soon.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Back in Grey Clay

I got back into my stoneware yesterday. It felt like coming home. Comfortable. I felt at ease working on familiar shapes, starting with some yunomi and then a couple boards of bowls and then some mugs. A new shape mug for me, sort of hourglass shaped. I had a customer ask me for this shape so these will be for her. I'll get the feet cut on these pots and handles on the mugs today.

I already have a kiln load probably with all the dishes I made a while back. Today I'm going to make some salt pigs and maybe a few more bowls. I also made some cut slab trays yesterday, I'll get some feet on them today and post an image later.
Have a great Friday!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Newly Added

I have added a couple new links over in the Blogs I Like column to the right. The first is Michael Kline's blog. Michael is a potter here in NC. I've known him for several years and really admire his work.

The other addition is Hannah McAndrew. Hannah works in South west Scotland and makes lovely slipware. I'm a slipware addict these days. I love Hannah's sliptrailed lettering and drawing. That little birdie is fun too.

Be sure to visit these blogs from time to time. It's fun to see what we are each up to.


A couple people said they would like to hear me ramble so here goes. (I hate long blog posts, but this will probably be one)

I have always been drawn to pots with images. My first strong influences (other than Warren) were the pots of Michael Simon, Ron Meyers and Ruggles and Rankin. These potters made great forms and all incorporated some kind of imagery also. I copied much of these potters work in my early years. It was a way to learn. Over time I realized I had to find my own images and I struggled with that for a long time and eventually gave up. I've always felt like I had to make pots that were cohesive and unified in some way. ie a body of work that is recognizable as my own. My thinking was that I had to do this so I could sell to galleries and they would be able to reorder each year and get similar pots. In other words I felt like I had to get my sh*& together and make a living... I couldn't be trying on all these different hats all the time. So I gave up decorating and made pots that were mostly finished when they came off the wheel. (Something I learned from Mary Law). I let the kiln do the decorating, varied surfaces from the salt and soda.

(Aside: The funny thing is that I sell to very few galleries. Most of my work is sold from home. I could do almost anything I want. Clary Illian is a good example of a potter who tries all kinds of things (within certain parameters))

Note: Here's something I didn't know for a long time. Don't look to contemporary pots for inspiration. Or at least your main inspiration. Go back in time and look at historical pots. Or look for inspiration in other mediums, textiles have great imagery and patterns. etc. If you like a particular potter's work, find out what inspired them, then look at that, then look back farther still. (I should have gone to art school, I bet they tell you that in the first week. Prob. not. I don't know).

Okay so eventually I really began to like my image-less pots. I liked my forms and the firings. I was and still make pots for daily use and that too has been my main focus.

Still though I have had a desire to draw on pots for a number of reasons. I'm not sure that one of the reasons is a good one to admit but here it is: People/customers are drawn first to pots with an image/pattern. They see that first. Most anyhow. Then maybe they see the form. So I have thought I'd do better financially if I made pots with images. Yuck. Okay I'm human. The hard part is doing this in a way that one can live with. Making pots that feed my soul and still sell. Being happy with the deco. , form, firing etc. That should be the main goal. And really I have proven that I can do what I want and sell pots. I rarely do things for the sake of others. I make what I like and then educate my customers to why it's good. Then they get it and they come back for more.

Okay enough rambling for now. I will talk about my love for earthenware in another rambling post. And more of what it felt like to try something new and succeed on some levels and have problems on others. Stay tuned.


A couple weeks ago I was listening to The Splendid Table on NPR and there was a segment on a new book called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. The concept of the book sounded really simple, you take 4 basic ingredients mix them in a container let them sit in the fridge for up to two weeks. During that time you take out whatever amount of dough you need to bake and use it to make bread or whatever. No kneading, no punching down, etc. Guess what? It makes great bread. I've baked two loaves and one small pizza. Better than any store bought bread you've ever had. I don't have the book yet , it seems to be a great hit and everyone is sold out. My pal Tom got it and he's had good success with it too.

Here is a loaf shaped like a shell that I baked last night.While we were in Asheville we visited Greenlife and I bought an 4.5 lb organic chicken. I roasted it up last night and it was for sure the best chicken we've ever eaten. I made these clay chicken roasters a few years ago. I sold about 5 and kept one for myself. Of the 5 I sold every one cracked in the oven and I had to give everyone their $35 back. Ha. Of course mine has lasted like a champ! There is an attached cylinder in the center that you fill with beer or whatever and the bird sits on it. I usually fill ours with lemon wedges, garlic and water.
So we had a great supper last night with rosemary roasted chicken, homemade bread, asparagus and fingerling potatoes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Finishing Up/Changing Over

I spent most of today finishing up some pots and then cleaning the workshop. It was getting way out of control. I am switching back over to my stoneware in the next day or two. I ran into a problem yesterday with my earthenware. It seeps. I know most earthenware seeps some, but this was SEEPING. I am using Ron Meyers claybody and we have lots of his pots that don't seep, and they are fired to the same temp. etc. I am not using Ron's glaze so maybe that's part of the problem or maybe I did something wrong in the mixing. Either way I have to let it go for now so I can get back to pots I can sell to make a living.

I have had all sorts of feelings about making different work and trying something new. I want to post on it but I'll have to sort it out a little more to keep from rambling and sounding psychotic. Thanks for everyone's comments and suggestions. I am looking forward to getting back to my salt kiln and the pots with all their varying surfaces and inconsistencies.

More soon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Finished Work

Here are the results of my first glaze firing with the earthenware. I was happy that all the pots came out although it was 'amber overload' since that was the only glaze I have tested so far that I really like. I do feel like I could tone it down a little by decreasing the oxide in my glaze and increasing the iron in my white slip. Overall though it's good for my first try.
I was using the green slip for pours like on the mug on the far right. It's got too much oxide in it too I think so I'll decrease that and try again. I'd like to have a good green slip. I also tested a black slip, which isn't pictured, so that may offer some variety too.
That green bowl is over the top for me colorwise. It has 8% copper carb. in the glaze. I'm going to knock that down and maybe add some iron to it to see if I can't get something better. The finger wiped plates all came out good, and I like that little bowl with the dots.
Everything else was more of the same or had that ugly green slip poured on it. So it's back to testing. I don't know how much longer I'll be playing around with all this. I have to get back to my salt glazed pots soon. Unloading this kiln was much different than unloading my salt kiln. It was weird to see pots that were all the same, or mostly the same. I did like seeing the decorated work esp. the drawings.

Sarah and I had a great time in Asheville. I'll post on that later.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Catching Up

Yesterday I went to unload the electric kiln at the Arts Council where I am firing this work. It was a bisque and I blew up all my slab pots. Oh well. Plus it was under fired by about 2 cones I'd guess. I 'm not too keen on these computer kilns. Anyhow I pressed on and glazed all the cups and yunomi and plates and reloaded the kiln. I set it to fire over night to cone 03. I went in early this morning to make sure it reached temp. The 04's were down when I got there and then then thing shut off. So I restarted it and fired it to temp. I am glad I was there to check.

So I'll unload my first glazed pots tomorrow and see if this little adventure is going to continue.

I decorated these plates yesterday.
Here are some tankards with sprigs. I have made some jugs that are similar.
And a couple of the 10 lb bowls decorated.
Sarah and I are off to Asheville for the night to celebrate our 8 year wedding anniversary. We will have fun knocking around there tomorrow. Check back in for pics of the fired work. Cross all your digits.

Friday, January 11, 2008


I unloaded my test kiln this morning with good results. My amber glaze test came out great, so it's full steam ahead with that. From left to right below it's : Amber glaze over Erect clay slip. Amber glaze over white clay slip. And Clear glaze over Erect clay slip. The Erect clay comes from Erect , NC and is principally a ball clay I think. I like it better than the white slip as the Erect has more of a creme color.I still have some work to do on my greens. The two on the left are green slips made with Erect and white clay with additions of green copper oxide. Both covered in clear glaze. The far right is white slip covered with a clear glaze that contains some copper carbonate. I think the two on the left have some potential. It looks like the slips went on too thin. I don't really care for the color of the far right but it gives me something to go by for future tests.
Gotta go! More later probably.
Yea for me!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hits. Newcomers

I had 252 hits yesterday! I think that's a record for me by far. I am sure I owe much of it to Doug for mentioning me on his blog. Thanks Doug. If you visited for the first time I hope you'll check in again in the future to see what I am up too.

I'm off to work. I'll be bisque firing tomorrow and hopefully my glaze firing will be out by Monday. More to come later.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Late Start

I didn't get started in the shop today until 2pm. I went to the Arts Council to help out painting pedestals and panels and stayed there about 2.5 hours. We were supposed to have a group of volunteers come but only me and one other showed. The staff worked too. Anyhow I do quite a bit there but I'm feeling kinda resentful that no else showed up.

So after lunch I made 6 plates, 6 beer mugs, 3 jugs , and 4 biggish bowls. (I made those 3 cap jars yesterday.)
I mixed up slip and glaze tests over the weekend. Here's my little chemistry area.
I borrowed this test kiln from a friend so I could fire my test pieces. (Those 2 on top are drying out). I'm gonna work some glaze tests into my first big bisque firing as the temperature for some of these glazes is the same as the bisque temp. Anyhow I have a plan...we'll see how it goes.
I'm pretty psyched about all this. I LOVE this clay. It is just what I want, earthy, gritty, imperfect, cuts well, throws pretty good. It smells good in the bin too!
Thanks for everyone's honest comments and links to sites for helpful deco. inspiration. Keep your fingers crossed for my first glaze firing (hopefully this weekend).

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Few More Dishes

I forgot to post this image yesterday of some dishes with fingerwipes through the white slip. I am figuring out the timing for this, can't wait too long or the slip gets dry and sort of gums up instead of wiping away nicely.I have pugged some clay and left it to stiffen up a little for tomorrow. It was quite wet and fine for plates and such, but too soft for much else.

That's all for now.

Monday, January 07, 2008

More From Today

Here are some odd bowls . I was mainly trying out different shapes to see how I could work out the deco. I made a few with pours too.
This group of pots are made from slabs draped over plaster hump molds that I made. That is a gigantic chicken is it not! I may add some finger dots of brown slip around that bird tomorrow. It looks like lots of blank space. Space is good I guess.
This clay is really groggy and I love it. Look at this flake!

I am very conscientious about the whole decoration thing. I have never done it for very long and I don't know if I'll stick to this much. The wipes and pours and dots are fine. I would like to incorporate some images, but it seems hard for me to let myself go there without being really judgmental. I am enjoying doing something new.

Gotta go get started on dinner. Please leave some comments.

New Pots

Okay so here are some pots from the weekend. I spent today turning feet and dipping and pouring slip. These mugs have a white slip with green slip pours. They will get some dots tomorrow. My dot slip was too wet for today.A few yunomi with pours and wipes and some dots.
Now here are these plates. Covered in white slip and then incised. A proper slipware potter would have trailed these designs, but I am better with a stick than a sliptrailer hence the drawing. So, I'm not 100% about this kind of thing. It can seem rather 'cute', or kitschy, or just bad. These will have an amber glaze over them so they won't be so bold, but if you have any feedback let me know. I can take it. If they are kinda 'folksy' then I'm okay with that. I'm not okay with cute. I may have to make them more 'fierce' animals or something. (That bird on the bottom right looks rather phallic, not fierce, although a flying phallus may be fierce) (Say that 3 times fast).
Most all of these pots above will get the amber glaze. I am testing a green glaze too and a clear although I don't know when I'd use a clear really. I think it would let the white be too white.

Monday Teaser

I worked through the weekend making some pots and mixing up slips and test glazes for the earthenware. I'll have pics up later today so check back in. Now I'm off to the workshop.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


No kittens, or Jimmy Hoffa, or fruitcake or children. Just some red clay. I mixed about 600 lbs of earthenware at Clayworks on Tuesday. Yesterday I pugged the lot of it and got it stored in a big garbage bin.
I threw a few yunomi and some plates with it yesterday. I like this clay a lot. It has plenty of grog and a fireclay/brickclay called Neuman Red from California. I did pick some bits of rock out of it. I'm not sure if that came from the Neuman or from the sides of the Solder mixer (which is concrete). Anyhow I doubt I'll continue to use the Neuman in any future batches. It seems rather silly to be transporting clay across the country when I can get something more local. So I'll be on the lookout for that.
I'm gonna be making some more pots today and mixing my white slip. I'm pretty much putting everything on hold for this month to play with this new clay and deco ideas. It's challenging for me to try something new and not over think it or try to see where it will go. So for now it's just for fun.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Something New

Guess what's in these bags.

Footing a Bowl

I thought it may be helpful to some to see how I cut feet on bowls and plates. Or at least the set up. I'd like the show the cutting via video, but I have to figure out how to do that first. So maybe that whole video thing will happen this year at some point. For now though here are a couple posts that may be helpful.

Below is a soup bowl , freshly thrown. This one was a two pounder. I made sure I left enough clay in the bottom for my foot.After throwing all of my bowls I take a measurement of the interior so I can make a chuck for them to sit on. The chuck is then thrown and let to stiffen up along with the bowls. I'll usually let the bowls sit out until I can flip them over without damaging the rims. Then, when the bottoms are soft leather hard they are ready to cut (trim).
Here is the chuck, which is just a tapered, low cylinder. You can see that I have made it so the rim of the bowl will wedge down on it about middle ways.
Here is the bowl on inverted on the chuck. I forgot to mention that I throw the chuck on a batt. That way when I am ready to use it I can just put it back on my batt pins and it is centered and ready to go. A few light taps on the bowl will center it on the chuck.
Here is the finished foot. I lift the bowl off and replace it with the next one to be footed.
Hope that was a bit helpful. Like I said maybe I can shoot a video of the actual cutting. If you have access to the Hamada video, The Art of the Potter, it shows him cutting some feet and is really excellent.
Happy Friday.

Footing a Plate

I use this homemade foam bat when I am cutting feet on plates or wide bowls. To make it I just used white school glue to attach thin foam to a batt. The clay supply stores sell these too. I have another larger one I use for platters and big bowls.Here is the uncut plate centered on the batt. Learning to tap on center is a skill worth learning. I use it not only when cutting feet but also when waxing, or decorating.
The finished foot below. I'll usually pick up the foam batt and invert the plate over onto another regular batt. That way I don't mess up the rim or distort the pot. If it's firm enough it's okay just to pick it up.
I usually dry my plates upside down on a batt.