Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Breaking My Mold..

This past month I've embarked on a mold project with a 'master moldmaker' that has his studio down the street from me (I'd give you his website but he doesn't have one, contact me if you want details). Mold-making and slip casting is quite foreign to me- I am a potter at heart and have always loved making work on the wheel. Last year at this time I met Russell and thought about what it would mean to take some of my designs and make molds out of them so I could produce larger quantities without the same kind of physical labour that throwing involves. However, last year my ceramic studio was all of 190 square feet, and multiple molds take up space on cupboards. Furthermore the whole process of mixing up slip and pouring molds is really different than wheel-throwing and I really felt that my studio wasn't equiped for me to go down that road quite yet.
This year, I have a better idea of which designs I want to invest a mold into and I have the space to embark on this idea, so I took the plunge. Here's how it has looked over the past 2-3 weeks - step one being make a plaster mold 12% larger than the original (shrinkage rate), make lovely and perfectly sealed 2 part mold from plaster master model, part 3, the first pour. So we'll see how the rest turns out- with clay, the minute you change one core element, all the rest have to be considered. Here's hoping I can find a great slip recipe that goes with my current glazes!

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