Super Slick Slip Casting
A slightly different project, I have been experimenting with slip casting and making plaster moulds. When everything goes to plan and you achieve a highly finished result from the slip pour, this is seriously sooo fun. Once you get the hang of it as well you’ll start to see every consumable object from a new perspective of functionality – that is, you’ll want to make plaster moulds of everything.
For those of you yet to have the world of slip casting revealed to you, it is a remarkably simple process although generally requires patience and diligent care for detail. A note first of all: this is not done using a wheel. All the stuff previously you have ever seen me make has been exclusively thrown on a pottery wheel. However I have temporarily veered off centre to dapple in a different side of ceramics.
1. Choose object. Find the halfway seam taking to any areas where the object might ‘undercut’. For the bottle/container below it only requires a simple 2 part mould.
2. Envelop one half of the object in clay and clamp into a box. Also put a couple ‘keys’ and a pour hole into the clay before mixing up the plaster. Applying mould release also helps.
3. After the liquid plaster has been poured into said box, wait for it to set. This constitutes PART 1.
4. Once sufficiently dry, remove the clay and object from the mould. Clean all the edges up and repeat pouring of plaster to get the second half of the mould. Once these are thoroughly dry, you may then begin to slip cast the object which you so desire.
5. Slip cast is essentially clay but in liquid form. You pour it into the hole of the mould allowing it to set for a minute or two before tipping it upside down and pouring out any remaining slip. Then allow it to set/dry. When you open up the mould, you should get a hollow replica of your initial object. et voila! This object can then be treated in ways similar to what I have previously done – ie glazed, painted, fired etc.
I honestly cannot emphasise the qualitative value of the hours of pure entertainment one can derive from this. Unfortuntely the mould pictured is slightly imperfect due to a careless mishap where some of the super fine/delicate detailed edges cracked. I hate to admit it, but this kind of annoys me.. but I guess one can only learn to live with imperfection.