It was back to school for me this week, and these little guys are from my slip casting class. When I spotted the plaster of paris mold that would form them, I just couldn’t resist. People often ask me what is slip casting? It is the forming of an object by pouring liquid clay into a preformed mold. The clay is then allowed to dry, to what is called leather hard, which takes about 45 minutes depending on room temperature and humidity, etc. Once dry, the mold is taken apart and the newly formed object is removed. Next the piece is trimmed, cleaned, and seams are made smooth. In most cases the piece is set aside to dry completely then fired in a kiln. Once fired the piece is called bisque ware. The next step is to apply glaze and other wanted decorations, then usually a second firing is needed. If all goes well, and it usually does, you will have a beautiful piece of ceramic art to proudly call your own.
In a previous post Treasure or Trash, I show a photo of a tea pot I made several years ago. I have been slip casting for ten years and never grow tired of it. In future posts I will show you how my little owls are progressing. I have not decided how to decorate them at this point, but an idea usually comes to me as I work on a certain piece. Next week they will go in for the first firing, so I have a little time to make decisions about colors etc. It is always so exciting to look into the finished project cabinet and find your work has been a success. I hope you will stay with me through the process, and that I will have something quite special to show you at the end.