• Learn to make both bisque and plaster
• Create sprig molds from found objects
• Apply press-molded sprigs to leather
Note: Sprigs can be used in several ways. They’ve been used as feet and in a surface decoration on the 7-inch vase shown in image A. On the bottle in image B, sprigs form the handles and glazing highlights a sprig decoration on the side. With the punch bowl in image C, sprigs are used in a repeat pattern around the shoulder of the form. All pieces shown here have been fired to cone 9 in a wood-fired kiln
|Making and Using Sprigs|
1. Shape the exterior of the mold by rolling or tap ping on a cloth surface. To make it easier to hold on to, make the mold long or add a handle to the back. Flatten the front of it, texture may be added by pressing the mold onto a textured cloth or other surface.
|2. Spray the object with a releasing agent such as cooking spray or WD-40.|
|3. Center the object on the mold and press it onto the clay.|
|4. Carefully remove the object, and don’t disturb the edges. Allow the mold to dry slowly then bisque fire.|
|5. To apply, press a small ball of clay into the deep part of the mold.|
|6. Press extra clay on the rest of the mold.|
|7. Put a small amount of water, or slip, on the backside of sprig. With one hand, press the sprig on the pot from the outside. Apply pressure from both sides by using your other hand to press out toward the sprig from the inside.|
|8. Pressing the sprig deeply into the pot while the pot is still moist makes it less likely that it will come off in the dying process. This also gives the pot a look of spontaneity.|
Tip: If you put too much slop on the back of the sprig, it will ooze out and stick to the mold, which makes the mold stick to the pot. If this happens, just leave the mold in place for 5 minutes or so until it absorbs the moisture, then it will come right off. Molds can also stick when they become wet during use, in which case you’ll need to stop and let the mold dry out before continuing.
Judi Munn and her husband, John Perry, demonstrate pottery making at the Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View, AR. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .Their workshop schedule is available through the Ozark FolkCenter at www.ozarkfolkcenter.com.