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Making Slumping Molds from Clay

 

Clay is inexpensive.  The tools for working with clay are also inexpensive and fairly easy to find.  Unfired clay can be shaped easily, and can be textured or carved if desired.  There's no special talent or skill required to make slumping molds from clay.  It's even possible to mature clay molds by firing in a glass kiln.

 

For these reasons clay makes an excellent choice for the glass artist who wants to make his or her own slumping molds.   It's not the perfect material -- clay shrinks when fired, and needs to be dried properly or it will crack -- but with care and the right procedures virtually anyone can learn to make excellent slumping molds from clay.

 

Let's start by selecting the right clay.  Ideally, you want a clay that is easy to work with, that isn't prone to thermal shock, and that is durable enough to withstand repeated firings.  You also don't want the clay to ruin the surface of the glass, so the clay you choose must also take kiln wash easily.  

 

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

Special thanks to Leslie Ihde for her assistance with this writeup.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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