Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mold Making

I bit the bullet and have been making a large platter form.  I've been making smaller ones, about fifteen inches across from bird baths, but I've been wanting a larger surface to work on.

I covered the plastic form with layers of tissue paper and then a sheet of plastic.  I then took the slop clay I keep for molds and experiments and extended the rim to a curve I liked. 


I rolled out a thick slab and  finished it with a rolling pin.  Whenever I work with a large slab, I always finish with my rolling pins.  I roll in all directions, much like pie crust.  I have no real proof, but I think it makes a stronger slab.


Here the slab is covered with the thin jersey that I use between slab and form.


One of the hardest steps in the entire procedure is flipping the slab onto the form.  I suppose I could ask Proge for help, but where's the fun in that?


Here I've added more clay to the rim to strengthen it.


And finally I have the form shaped to my satisfaction.  This is all done by eye, as I want to maintain a handbuilt feel to both the form and what I make.

 

 I wrapped the form in several layers of plastic and dried very slowly to soft leather hard.  I took  the plastic off for a few hours at a time and changed to a dry sheet.


I forgot to take a picture of the flipping process.  It's quite easy as the bird bath form is there for support.  I braced the sides with rolled plastic and newspaper before removing the bird bath.  I left the whole thing for a day before working on the rim.  I used a sur-form to smooth things out.  Sharp edges can lead to bumping and cracking. I also worked to interior curve with one of Mud Tool ribs.  Yellow has just the right amount of give and control.


Now it's just a question of drying slowly and evenly.  I drape thin plastic over and periodically flip it to keep the rim from drying too quickly.  If it does look like it's drying too fast I will cover the rim tightly with more plastic.

We'll see, Grasshopper.......we'll see....

We have finally had some rain more than four inches since Friday.  We are still down several inches, but we did set up rain barrels so there is water for plants if it gets dry again.  No matter how much I water, there is nothing like rain to perk the plants up.  It's cloudy today with more showers expected this afternoon.  The air feels very soft.

Enjoy the week ahead.  Here's hoping for cool, wet weather in all the areas that are dealing with fires.

As always, thanks for stoping by.......*s*

13 comments:

  1. wow, interesting way to make a large platter/bowl form, thanks for the tutorial. I think the rain has more nutrients, we have city water here and I wish we didn't we've always had well water and I like it best.

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    1. Hi Linda...We have had well water for so long I'm always surprised when when I taste city water.

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  2. Nice lesson, I want to share this with my students. I normally just flip the plastic instead of changing it. By doing that the condensation from the wet clay is on the outside of the plastic where it can evaporate.

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    1. Hi Lori....Use away! I started using dry, new plastic when it was so humid that the exposed side was not drying!

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  3. Thank you for sharing! We haven't had enough rain here either. Grass is looking a little on the brown sided these days.

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    1. Hi Michele....You're welcome. We may get a few showers today, then sunny for the rest of the week. I want to kick people who complain about rain!
      I'm in love with your little animal rattles!

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  4. a great tutorial. I look forward to seeing the finished piece.

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    1. Hi Anna....Thanks. I'm trying to be patient and let it dry slowly.

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  5. Dearest Suzi,
    That was an attention captivating post about your newest project. Love the way it came out; to me just perfect looking!
    As for your rain quest, we have had our share of rain this summer. Along the Interstate it seldom looked that lush. If one ponders about the extreme drought years and than lush ones, it is tough on all the trees, shrubs and plants. We can only do so much and never make up for the lack of good rain.
    Sending you hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Hi Mariette....Thanks; I'm looking forward to using it!
      I think our weather pattern may be changing; toes crossed that we get rain this fall when things don't dry out so quickly.

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  6. great tutorials!! must be big pot week, spent yesterday throwing platters...... I think this might be a solution for platters as my body ages! throwing 15-18 pounds certainly takes a toll! thanks!!

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