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Making Ceramic Molds

Mold making opens up endless potential for creative expression. Here, you’ll learn about making and using molds in ceramics. Browse through our archive of articles to find a variety of techniques from making plaster molds for slip casting and press molding to making bisque hump or slump molds. And be sure to download your free copy of the Ceramic Mold Making Techniques: Tips for Making Plaster Molds and Slip Casting Clay. If you’re interested in exploring the world of making plaster molds for slip casting or handbuilding, Ceramic Mold Making Techniques: Tips for Making Plaster Molds and Slip Casting Clay is a great place to start!


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Creating Interesting Patterns in Pottery with Colored Casting Slip

Posted On July 4, 2014 3 Comments

Slip casting is a facet of ceramics that I am dying to explore. I love the idea of making multiples and exploring different surfaces on them. But I hadn’t thought much about the potential for decoration when colorants are added right to the casting slip. That is until Andrew Gilliatt came to town to film a DVD with us. Andrew does great work with colored casting slips and then adds even more surface detail with a variety of resists and decals. In today’s post, an excerpt from his new DVD Layers of Color: Exploring Form and Surface Pattern in Slip Cast Pottery, Andrew demonstrates how to incorporating colored slip right into the surface design.

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Turning an Everyday Throw-Away Item into a Great Pot

Posted On March 3, 2014 10 Comments

When WangLing Chou was an international student, she developed a habit of traveling light and repurposing and reusing objects out of necessity. This habit made its way into her clay work as well. In today’s post, an excerpt from the March/April 2014 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, she shares how she repurposed plastic soda bottles as fun molds for functional pots. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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Pottery Video of the Week: How to Construct Cottle Boards for Plaster Mold Making and Slip Casting

Posted On January 3, 2014 19 Comments

My new year’s resolution is to make more molds. Molds are a simple way to create simple or complex forms and then reproduce them with little effort. When you do this, the individual forms lose their preciousness, which allows you the freedom to creatively experiment. With the little studio time that I get, I definitely fall into the habit of letting pots become too precious and sticking to what’s “safe.” If you do too, today’s video may be just what you need. In this excerpt from Guy Michael Davis’s Fundamentals of Mold Making and Slip Casting, Mike demonstrates his simple and easy method for making dottle boards.

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Forget the Plaster! How to Make a Surprisingly Durable Hump Mold out of Unfired Clay

Posted On November 18, 2013 37 Comments

We ceramic artists use plaster for everything from drying or wedging surfaces to stamps or molds for slip casting. But potter Lauren Sandler has been making hump molds for her work out of unfired clay. This way she doesn’t have to deal with the mess of plaster, doesn’t have to wait for her molds to dry and be fired, plus, if she gets tired of the form, she can reclaim the clay for some other use. Now, I don’t mean to diss our good friend plaster, but I do love the simplicity, speed, and versatility of this method.

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How to Make a Textured Bisque Mold that Mimics a Thrown Piece

Posted On March 18, 2013 6 Comments

There are lots of ways to make molds in ceramics, as you’ll see in our newly revised download Ceramic Mold Making Techniques: Tips for Making Plaster Molds and Slip Casting Clay. And I love that I keep discovering new variations. Case in point: Nancy Zoller’s textured bisque hump molds. I love how Nancy incorporates texture right into the mold, and adds a spiral detail to make a piece look thrown. In today’s post, Nancy explains her process. -Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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Making Clay Prototypes for Mold Making and Slipcasting

Posted On February 8, 2013 2 Comments

Andrew Gilliatt makes the prototypes for his fun, imaginative forms using MDF (a wood particle board) and a lathe. Then he slip casts them using various colored slips. But in today’s post, an excerpt from his new DVD Layers of Color, he explains that you don’t have to have a wood lathe for this process. You can come up with your own great shapes using clay. I am super psyched to play around with some new forms of my own. Hope you will be too! 

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Applying Colored Slips to a Plaster Mold Before Slipcasting For Surface Pattern

Posted On November 14, 2012 3 Comments

I first saw the work of Peter Pincus when I juried the Potters Council Members Exhibition last Spring. This large bowl with a brightly colored striped surface fit the exhibition’s theme “The Chromatic Edge” perfectly. When I saw the piece (see below) in person when setting up the show at NCECA, I was blown away. And very intrigued as to how he made it. The lines of color didn’t seem stenciled or screen printed but they were so crisp. Well, in the latest issue of Ceramics Monthly, Peter shared his super cool process. Mystery solved. Today, I am sharing an excerpt from that article. 

 

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How to Capture the Beauty of Nature in Your Pottery with Homemade Texture Molds

Posted On May 2, 2012 10 Comments

David Scott Smith is a fan of flowers. You might say it’s in his blood – his grandfather owned a flower shop and then, after “retirement” a horticulture instructor. In today’s post, David explains how he makes bisque texture molds with wildflowers. Enjoy and then go take a walk and find some flowers to make your own!

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Building in a Box: Combining High-Tech Computer Modeling and Low-Tech Slip Casting Techniques to Make Intricate Modular Work

Posted On February 22, 2012 0 Comments

Though Eliza Au begins her process using three dimensional computer modeling and Computer Numerical Controlled milling, it all comes together in a good old wooden box. In today’s post, an excerpt from the March 2012 Ceramics Monthly, Eliza shares her process and casting slip recipe and author Amy Gogarty  tells us a bit more about the work.

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An Introduction to Slip Casting Ceramics with Multi-Piece Molds

Posted On January 11, 2012 20 Comments

Today, potter Linda Gates walks us through the slip-casting process for one of her jug forms using a four-piece plaster mold for the body and a two-piece plaster mold for the handle.