As a ceramic handbuilder, it’s nice to have molds on hand. I can use a mold to make several matching pieces, or to quickly create a form to build off of. Molds are typically made from plaster, but I don’t want plaster in my home studio because 1) it takes more equipment that I don’t have room for in my small home studio, and 2) I’ve heard more than a couple times about ceramic artists who regret allowing plaster into their studio because any plaster fragments that get left in clay end up destroying a vessel during firing. So I use bisque molds (although I do own a couple plaster molds which I bought early on.)
Bisque molds are made from clay. I make a form – a bowl or platter or whatever form I’d like – out of clay. I make it thicker than usual, because I want it sturdy enough to last a long time. I fire it to about 1915 degrees, or cone 04, which is a “bisque” firing, hence the name bisque mold. I want a mold that sucks up the moisture out of the clay, and bisque ware does a marvelous job at that. In a future post, I’ll show you how I create my bisque molds. But for now, I want to demonstrate how I can use both the outside AND the inside of the bisque molds to make different pieces.
So this is how I use the bisque molds I create. I’ll post soon about how I make these molds. Stay tuned!