Potters generally make use of a wheel or produce freeform pieces by hand for one-of-a kind art, but what do you do if you’re looking to create multiples of the same pieces? Unless you’re a master of free-forming or using a wheel, your pieces will likely not be identical and it will also be a highly labour intensive process. Instead, if you’re looking to create pieces again and again, making use of a press mould is your best bet. Here are our top tips and tricks for using a press mould.
What is a Press Mould?
Press moulding is defined as a technique in which clay is pressed into a mould in order to take on the form of the mould and then removed in order to create a ‘positive’ of the mould. Owing to the use of a mould, this technique is fantastic for creating multitudes of identical pieces and is most often used to create bowls, cups, plates, and tiles. Making use of a press mould also makes it far easier to create pieces which would be difficult to create on a wheel and you’ll be able to repeat the process over and over again saving yourself a lot of time in the process. Also known as sprig moulds, press moulds can also be used for making raised decorations, most commonly seen in the well-known Wedgewood pottery.
What Are Press Moulds Made From?
Press moulds come in two types: plaster cast and bisque – much like there are different types of Australian betting sites. Plaster cast press moulds are made from plaster of Paris combined with talc – which helps lessen the risk of cracking – and the liquid mixture is poured into a rubber mould and set. In order to create plaster cast press moulds, the mould is fired to remove the water content, but at a much lower temperate than ceramics.
The second type of press mould, the bisque mould, is a popular choice as it’s easily made at home. Simply roll out your clay completely evenly to the desired thickness and then use whatever you like to create the mould – anything from plates and mugs to cake tins. However, you must line whatever you are using as a mould to ensure that the clay doesn’t stick and then leave it to dry to leather-hard.
How Do I Use a Press Mould?
Using a press mould is an easy method to master and all you have to do is roll out your clay evenly to the desired thickness and then place it over the mould. In order to ensure that your clay doesn’t stick to the mould, we suggest sprinkling the mould with cornflour or lining it with a pair of tights. Once your clay is pressed into position, leave it to dry to leather-hard before removing it from the mould, but you should be very careful when removing the mould as the clay is quite fragile at this stage. Trim any excess clay from the edges of the mould and make sure all your edges are neat and tidy before firing.