Slip Casting – Experiential Research

After attending the recent slip casting workshop I wanted to begin understanding the process of producing a mold first hand. My aim: to create a three piece plaster mold of a popular and well-known ceramic mug.

Prior knowledge of this technique, though limited, provided a rough foundation on which to build a stronger understanding. I relied heavily on the technician for step by step instructions yet observations provided a ‘direct visual experience’ (Grey, C. and Malins, J. 2004) and modeled good practice. Elements of the process were explicit – clear instruction and process to the making. However, mixing the plaster and understanding when the plaster was ready to pour was initially a tacit experience; having to feel the changes in temperature and consistency.

Many mistakes occurred on this first mold making journey, but I have gained a thorough understanding how to prepare the model for casting, how to measure and mix plaster,  as well as enabling each mold piece to fit and release easily when required.

Slip casting allows the maker (provided there are enough mold pieces) to recreate any shape/form. And I feel on the edge of a huge range of possibility ahead of me.


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