Making Slumping Molds from Clay
This is part three of a
multi-part tip on making slumping molds from clay. Click here
to start with part one.
Once you've selected your clay, the next step is to gather the
materials you'll need for making the mold. The required items
fall into four main categories:
1. Basic pottery working tools
Any pottery or ceramic supplier should be able to provide the
basic tools you need (many of them can even be fashioned from
household items if necessary). These include a soft sponge,
cutting wire (can be an old guitar string), a fettling knife (or
smooth blade kitchen knife), and a pin tool (or nail). Other
basic tools such as a steel rib or brayer can also come in handy,
especially if the mold is to be textured.
2. Tools for rolling out the clay
In addition to a heavy duty rolling pin (if you use one from the
kitchen, dedicate it to the studio, don't try to clean it and return
for use in baking), you'll need at least two strips of wood in even
thickness. 1/4" (6mm), 3/8" (9mm), and 1/2" (12mm) are good
thicknesses to use. You can use wooden yard sticks or paint
stirrers if you wish.
3. A drape mold form
Although special "hump" molds are available from pottery
suppliers, you may prefer to use a more interesting shape.
This can be any found item with a shape you'd like to use to form
4. Armor All or Murphy's Oil Soap
This will be used as a resist when making the mold.
It's also helpful to have a lazy susan or banding wheel or
similar turntable that can be used to help shape the mold, but you
can get by without this if necessary.
Once you've gathering the proper materials, it's time to start
the process of making the mold.
Coming soon -- part four of this tip, which
focuses on rolling out and making the mold.
Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.
Special thanks to Leslie Ihde
for her assistance with this writeup.