Slump moulds hold the clay inside the mould. You can use plater moulds, or any kind of found open forms (there are no internal areas larger than the opening) such as plates and bowls from your kitchen, plastic, ceramic or metal is OK.
- Roll your clay – 6mm or thicker.
- Use the form to cut the shape – it will much easier for you if you simply trace around the outside of the upturned form and allow your finished form to be smaller than the mould – this is especially true with bowls!
- Finish the edges – smooth and round the edges of your cut form NOW! the better the finish at this stage, the easier your work will be to clean.
- Decide your best side of the clay – put your name and mark on the bottom of the clay.
- Decorate the best side of the clay if desired.
- Put the clay on a cloth that is not too much larger than the mould.
- Put the cloth into the mould with the clay on board.
- Press the clay with flat fingers to fill all areas of the base and corners of the mould. This can be tricky with bowls. If the base has not been formed the plate or bowl will rock when finished!
- Leave the clay in the mould until it is firm enough to remove without any distortions.
With a drape mould. the clay is draped over the outside of the form. This method make free flowing sides and is great for larger salad bowls and other decorative forms. It is not suitable for forming tightly – as the clay shrinks around the form it will crack and it simply doesn’t work.
- Roll your clay – 6mm or thicker
- Cut your shape to be larger than the form you are using as a mould.
- Finish your edges.
- Decorate your clay, put your name and mark on the bottom.
- Place the clay on a cloth – inside of the form down
- Place the clay over the drape mould and gently shape the form, compressing the clay slightly around the base, ensuring you have a defined base to you work for stability.
- Add a foot rim if desired.
- Leave the form on the mould until it is firm enough to remove without distortion. Be careful that it doesn’t shrink around the form and crack.
Flat platters, small plates like saucers and little dishes and many other iterations of a plate or platter can be made in this manner.
- Roll your clay – 6mm or more – thicker as your platter gets larger. Take care with handling and rolling, turning the clay often with flat hands.
- Cut your shape freehand, or to a pre designed shape.
- Decorate the surface of your clay. Put your name and mar on the bottom.
- Put a cloth on a flat board that has plenty of room for your clay and place your platter on the cloth on the board.
- Turn up the edges, decorate the edges, use wads of clay underneath the cloth for a higher turn up – free hand the type of edge finish you are after.
- Clean any edge sharpness created as you form.
- Leave the piece on the flat board until it travel to the kiln. Handling of larger pieces can cause cracking.
JAPANESE PRESS PLATE
From small soy sauce dishes through to fancy plates, the Japanese method of press plates is quick but with endless delight!
- Roll your clay – 6mm or thicker.
- Trim the clay at least 1cm wider than your press mould. The clay can be up to 4cm wider, depending on form, however, the wider it gets, the more risk of the plate collapsing!’
- Finish he edges.
- Decorate the surface of the plate.
- Place the clay, decorated side up, on a large piece of foam.
- Place your mould form on top and press fully down to the bottom of the foam for a count of 4.
- Release. The side will have bent up.
- Place the clay and the form still inside the clay onto a flat board. Once on the board you can carefully remove the moulding form.
- If required, support the walls with small wads of clay until the plate dries.