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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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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. 



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.


(Slip) Cast Party: Creating Unique Double-Walled Forms Using Mold Making and Slip Casting Techniques

Posted On November 14, 2011 12 Comments

Today, Hiroe Hanazono shares her process for slip casting double walled forms, from making the pattern and the mold, to the casting part. See more great slip casting projects in our free download Ceramic Mold Making Techniques: Tips for Making Plaster Molds, Slip Casting, and Decorating Clay,

Pottery Video of the Week: How to Make Plaster Sprig Molds for Ceramics

Posted On September 2, 2011 19 Comments

In today’s video, our own Holly Goring demonstrates how to make a simple plaster sprig mold. Simple though they are, these molds are great little tools for adding interest to pottery. Why not cast a motif you are fond of in plaster so you can use it over and over again on your work? In addition to the video, we’ll show you some work with sprigged decoration and present some step-by-step photos and instructions on how to use sprig molds.


Pottery Video of the Week: Helpful Tips for Slipcasting in a One-Piece Mold

Posted On May 20, 2011 16 Comments

In today’s video, an excerpt from Fundamentals of Mold Making and Slipcasting (which is now shipping!), Guy Michael Davis shares a few tips for pouring good casts. Mike also shares his recipes for casting bodies.

Margaret Bohls used a gridded plaster slab to make the lattice like texture on this pot. She then puffed out each square with her fingers to add volume.

The Look of Lattice: Using Textured Plaster Slabs to Make Lattice Inspired Handbuilt Forms

Posted On February 16, 2011 13 Comments

Today I am sharing a homemade texture tool idea. This one is a great tool for laying down a pattern quickly and easily over an entire slab. In this post, Margaret Bohls explains how she carves texture, in this case a grid-like pattern, into large plaster slabs and then rolls her slabs on the textured plaster. She then puffs out each square in the grid with her fingers and creates a sense of volume.


Going Industrial: One Potter Shares his Experience with the Mass Production of his Pottery

Posted On December 28, 2009 34 Comments

Why would someone who has spent most of his adult life pursuing excellence in handmade pottery enthusiastically pursue mass production? That’s the question David Pier asked himself when he faced the conflict of wanting to meet high levels of craftmanship and design, but still keep the pricing on his pots affordable. In today’s post, David tells us all about his forays into mass production.

After an object is scanned from various angles, a three-dimensional digital model is made of all the scans and all of the points on the surface are mapped. The file can be altered or combined with other files before outputting to either a milling machine or a three-dimensional printer.

Combining Histories: Make, Scan, Mill, Print, Adjust, Repeat

Posted On October 21, 2009 3 Comments

For the past few years we have utilized several forms of rapid prototyping to explore new methods of creating form. At The Ohio State University ceramics program, we have a large Techno Isel CNC (computer numerically controlled) router and a Konica Minolta Vivid 910 3D scanner, a Z-Corp 510 3D printer and a soon-to-be-operational Epilog laser cutter. In an environment where research and development are crucial activities, we willingly embrace these new technologies in search of a balance between traditional craft and industrial practice.


Casting Call: How to Mix Casting Slip for Sculpture and Pottery; Plus 3 Great Slip Casting Tips

Posted On March 11, 2009 2 Comments

Ceramic artist Valerie Zimany explains how to make a casting slip out of the clay body she uses and gives some handy tips to remember when working with molds and clay.

Mold Making Video: Making a Plaster Reclaim Slab

Posted On November 14, 2008 6 Comments

Whether you work in a shared studio, at a community arts center, in a luxurious private studio or in a corner of your basement, chances are that space is at a premium. Today Holly Goring shows us how to make a reclaim slab that doubles as a wedging board, saving space, materials, time and effort. You will need some basic plaster know-how, but luckily Holly has already covered a lot of this in her previous video feature Plaster Mixing 101.