Beautiful plate

Fine ceramic plates

Beautiful plates have long been collected since Europeans began producing porcelain and fine pottery in the 18th century. These wares were used and collected for their decoration. Monarchs and royalty engaged in the practice of collecting and displaying porcelain plates. and of course now days its common practice for most anyone who is interested in plate collecting or plate decor.

Why collect beautiful plates

The real attraction to collecting beautiful plates and dishware is that some folks just like to do it. They love the design, color and pattern. When making plates I try to make mine that have a unique color, shape or design that makes the plate appealing and possible a conversation piece.

Marco Polo and plates

Marco Polo plate courtesy of
Did you know when Marco Polo returned from the Far East in 1295, he brought back ceramic dishes he called "porcella,". He compared these dishes to delicate sea shells. The word "porcelain" is derived from "porcella." And as most folks know these dishes were eventually called "china" which was based on the country of origin.

Types of serving plates

Plates can be any shape, but nearly all of them have a rim to hold food on the plate and avoid falling off the edge. They are often white or off-white, but they can be any color, including patterns and designs of art. Many are sold in sets of identical plates.

  1. Saucer: A tiny plate with a cup indentation.
  2. Appetizer: Dessert, salad and side dishes: size varies between 4 and 9 inches.
  3. Bread and butter plate: A bit tiny for individual servings are are around 6 to 7 inches.
  4. Lunch or dessert plates: Are typically 9 inches in diameter.
  5. Dinner plates: Large are 10 to 12 inches and buffet plates are slightly larger serving plates which are about 11 to 14 inches.
  6. Platters or serving plates: excessively large dishes from which food can be spread at table for several individuals.
  7. Decorative plates: Not for food.
  8. Commemorative: Plates have designs that reflect a specific theme.
  9. Charger: Is a decorative plate 13 to 14 inches and positioned under a the plate used to hold food.

Plate shapes

ceramic plate
Square plate

  1. Round: The most popular shape for dinner dishes and saucers in particular.
  2. Square: More prevalent in Asian traditions such as sushi or bento, adding contemporary style.
  3. Squircle: Holding more food than round ones but still occupying the same amount of space in a cupboard. A squircle is a shape intermediate between a square and a circle.
  4. Coupe: Is really a type of bowl rather than a plate: a round dish with a smooth, round, steep curve up to the rim as opposed to rims that curve up then flatten out.
  5. Ribbon plate: Ornamental plate with slots around the circumference to allow the hanging of a ribbon. 
Squircle plate courtesy of