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Bisque Ware Slumping Molds

Although molds for slumping can be made of other materials (most notably stainless steel), most slump molds are made from clay.  It's possible to purchase clay molds that are specifically made for slumping glass, but you can also purchase bisque ware pottery and use it for slumping.

Bisque ware is clay that has been hardened by firing in the kiln.  Bisque ware is widely available at ceramics or pottery suppliers, and is usually colored light grey or off-white.  A bisque ware mold will probably not last as long as a mold that's specifically made for slumping glass, but it will be considerably cheaper (far less than half the price).  Bisque ware also comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

When choosing bisque ware to use as a slumping mold, it's best to select a piece that has the appropriate shape for slumping.  Avoid complicated three-dimensional shapes and deep bowls; also stay away from molds with intricate carvings or patterns in the clay.  Instead, select a shape with a rim around the edge or with gentle curves rather than steep slopes.

Before using bisque ware as a slumping mold, you'll need to prepare it for slumping by drilling holes in the bottom of the mold.  You'll also need to kiln wash the mold to prepare it for firing.  These topics will be covered in part two of this tip.

Click here for the second part of this tip, which deals with preparing a bisque ware mold for use in slumping.

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Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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