Question about using molds in pot makinig

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Question about using molds in pot makinig

Post  Randy_Davis on Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:46 am

Hi folks,

I'm seriously thinking about trying my hand a making a pot or two for a couple of my trees. I would like to know if any of you are now, or have used moulds to produce your pots? My question is what kind of material is the mould made out of? It seems t me and correct me if I'm wrong, that using a mould to make a pot would be good for a beginner. I'd like to make a rectangular or round shape to begin with. Any information you professionals might be able to give me would be greatly appreciated.

Randy


Last edited by Randy_Davis on Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:29 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Question about using molds in pot makinig

Post  Gentleman G. on Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:39 pm

I'm no pro, but most ceramics shops sell greenware. It's pre-shaped and already ready for glaze. If you're more interested in how the glaze looks rather than actually shaping the pot yourself, this is what I'd do. Other than that, I'm not much help... Let's wait for the pros. I've been wanting to try my hand at this too.

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Re: Question about using molds in pot makinig

Post  Randy_Davis on Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:00 pm

Gentleman G. wrote:I'm no pro, but most ceramics shops sell greenware. It's pre-shaped and already ready for glaze. If you're more interested in how the glaze looks rather than actually shaping the pot yourself, this is what I'd do. Other than that, I'm not much help... Let's wait for the pros. I've been wanting to try my hand at this too.

Thanks Gentleman G,

I'm actually intrested in both pot shape and glazes. I'm signing up for a ceramics class at my local community college this fall to learn the basics and see if this is something that I might persue further. I have some specific shapes in mind for specific trees that I'm working on that require a moulding process rather than a potters wheel or slab construction. I have watched those 10 minute videos of Jamie Farr's of the potters in Japan where they use moulds and being the unartistic fellow that I am, thought that might be a way to do a reasonably good job on the first time out. I'm pretty sure I could make a mould since what I'm looking for is pretty simple but at a loss as to the material to use in it's construction. I hope some of those more experienced potters will chime in and give a novice some sage advise.

Randy

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Re: Question about using molds in pot makinig

Post  Ed Spaans on Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:24 pm

Hi Randy:
You can use anything that is sufficiently rigid for a mold. Just leave the clay on the mold till it is leatherhard (stiff enough to hold its shape) If you leave it on longer than that, it will break due to shrinkage. From the initial forming through the kiln process, the clay body will lose quite some volume due to water evaporation. Shrinkage depends upon the type of clay used, among other facctors. If you use wood, wrap it in newspaper so that the clay doesn't stick to the wood.

Ed.

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Re: Question about using molds in pot makinig

Post  Randy_Davis on Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:22 am

Ed Spaans wrote:Hi Randy:
You can use anything that is sufficiently rigid for a mold. Just leave the clay on the mold till it is leatherhard (stiff enough to hold its shape) If you leave it on longer than that, it will break due to shrinkage. From the initial forming through the kiln process, the clay body will lose quite some volume due to water evaporation. Shrinkage depends upon the type of clay used, among other facctors. If you use wood, wrap it in newspaper so that the clay doesn't stick to the wood.

Ed.

Thanks Ed, that opens up the possibilities and makes me breath a little easier. I have been told that it's not good to use plaster as it will cause the pot to explode during the firing. Looks like I'm going to head to the store to see what's avaliable and begin building one. Not sure I'll use wood but it's also good to know to cover it in newspaper as a barrier from the clay.

ta ta for now,
Randy

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Re: Question about using molds in pot makinig

Post  pjkatich on Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:32 am

Hey Randy,

You can use just about anything for a mold. Some materials work better than others and depends on what type or shape of pot you are trying to make.

Plaster is the choice of most production potters that slip cast their pots.

For a beginner, plywood works very well when made into a slump or a hump style mold. I might suggest that you go over to your local library and check out a couple of books on the subject.

Signing up for a coarse at your local junior college is a good idea. Do you know what type of kilns they operate? Do you know what temperature they glaze fire too? Is the class hand building or wheel throwing?

Cheers,
Paul




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Re: Question about using molds in pot makinig

Post  Randy_Davis on Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:28 am

pjkatich wrote:Hey Randy,

Signing up for a coarse at your local junior college is a good idea. Do you know what type of kilns they operate? Do you know what temperature they glaze fire too? Is the class hand building or wheel throwing?

Cheers,
Paul

Paul,

Thanks! I've been sitting here googling and reading which is proving to be quite enlightening. The Junior College class does both wheel throwing and slab or hand building. They don't use molds or do slip molding. They use an electric kiln that does cone 6 but have plans to build a gas kiln as well as a wood fired kiln. I dont remember what clay they have which was white in color but they also use porceline and I could get stoneware from local suppliers. I'm looking to do some rather simple round, oval and rectangle shapes but rather large 16" finished size for some of my trees that are ready for a nice pot. The more I read, the more play'n around I want to do. We'll see how this project plays out. I'm rather excited to get on with it.

Randy

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Re: Question about using molds in pot makinig

Post  Rob Addonizio on Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:58 pm

Randy,

You are off on a bit of inspiration, and I am quite happy for you. Might I suggest a few things and you can take them for what they are worth...

Paul is advising you to get some books on the subject and I couldn't agree more. You will need a lot of references and information if you are going to pursue pottery.

Please keep in mind that the press molds/moulds that you see on Farr's videos are very complex. Myself personally, I would not even consider making one unless I had my own style or design of a pot that was truly unique and well developed, as you see in Tokoname and even Asia in general. To make a pot or a series of designs as such takes years and years of development.

Lastly l would just like to say that the best piece of advise I can give about making pottery, is to allow yourself to fall in love with the material, the clay. Make some pinch pots, make silly pots, make horrible pots, make fun pots, just have fun first. This is something I stress as a teacher and an artist, and has never let me down yet...

Best wishes on your quest!

Rob


Last edited by Rob Addonizio on Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:20 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammar)

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