I first learnt about sprigs in my mould making class and though why would anyone ever use a sprig? Now I can’t stop applying them to plates, platters and vases. It’s a simple yet effective technique that when use well can create lovely rhythmic detail. I like the subtle shadows created by the undulating surface and how certain glazes can break over the sprigs.
To create a sprig mould I mix up plaster and pour it into discs 2cm deep (small plastic containers work well). Once set I carve my design with a modelling tool. To form a sprig, I press clay into the mould and wipe back the excess clay with a firm kidney tool. I use a small piece of clay to help pop out the sprig. I paint vinegar to the back of the sprig and the vessel to attach the sprig.
Technique: When finished sprigging, I find it best to slow dry the piece to prevent the sprigs from pulling away from the vessel and cracking. It’s important for the clay of the sprig and vessel to be similar in wetness to achieve the best join.
Materials: Vinegar is a good binding agent as it breaks down the particles in the clay forming a strong join.
Asparagus & Prosciutto
Perfect appetizer to start the evening. It’s quick and simple to make and looks elegant with the soft white glaze of my sprig platter.
2 bunches asparagus (16 spears)
16 slices of shaved prosciutto
Good quality olive oil
Add asparagus to pot of boiling water and cook for 1– 2 minutes (or until aldente). Drain and place in cold water to stop the asparagus cooking before patting dry with a tea towel. Wrap each spear in a piece of prosciutto, winding from one end to the other. Assemble on platter, drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon.