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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!


How to Get the Perfect Profile in a Plaster Mold by Sledging Plaster

Posted On September 28, 2015 5 Comments
  I have heard of sledging before and am sad to say that I’ve never tried it. Sledging is essentially extruding plaster to create finished objects or plaster molds. Plaster is one of those things that you either love or you hate. I love it, but don’t have a space in my studio to use it,… Read More »

How to Make a Bisque Hump Mold with a Bucket

Posted On August 21, 2015 9 Comments

Molds are one of my favorite tools in my studio. I love how quickly you can produce objects. Since graduating from Ohio State University in the spring of 2014, I’ve been trying to avoid making plaster molds in my basement studio. Carving out a dedicated plaster space isn’t ideal when my studio space is already tight. Thanks to Kari Radasch, I’ll be able to make new bisque molds quickly, effectively, and most importantly, without any plaster.

In today’s video, an excerpt from her video Low-Tech Clay – High-End Results, Kari demonstrates a really simple and interesting technique for creating a soft-curved hump mold by slumping clay into a bucket. This clip got me ready to make some new bisque molds! I can’t wait to try this out! – Ash Neukamm, guest editor


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

Posted On July 15, 2015 12 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!


An Introduction to Slip Casting Ceramics with Multi-Piece Molds

Posted On December 29, 2014 23 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.

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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.


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.


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.


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

Posted On November 18, 2013 40 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.


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!