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So you don’t want to use plaster, but you still want press, slump and hump molds, huh?
I bet you didn't think that was possible, did you?
Well, never fear, cause there are other no plaster options!

Molding clay over candle

Bisque No Plaster Ceramic Molds

You can make press molds out of clay and fire them.
These work pretty well and the clay doesn't stick to them.
Carve the reverse of your desired design into leather hard clay.
If you want raised lettering, carve the letters out of the press mold and the reverse will be raised.
Remember to make your design about 10% larger than desired, to account for shrinkage.

Bisque also makes great slump and hump molds.
These can be thrown, hand built or molded from a found object.
You can use objects like mixing bowls and platters directly by coating with vegetable oil, PAM, WD-40 or by covering the object with plastic wrap or newspaper.
You can use these as slump molds, because the insides of your bowls and platters have the nice curvature you are looking for.

Wood Molds

Wooden bowls can often be used directly without any coating because they are porous and the clay won't stick to them.
Garage sales are good places to find some neat shaped wooden bowls really cheap.

Canvas No Plaster Ceramic Mold

You can make a sling out of canvas and use that for a mold.
Take a piece of canvas and put it over the top of a large round garbage can.
Tie the canvas that overhangs the can, tightly with string.
Place your slab of clay on the canvas.
You can get different curvatures depending on how tightly you pull the canvas.

This same no plaster ceramic mold technique can be used with buckets for smaller slabs.
You can cut holes in the canvas where you want the feet to go.
That way you can attach the feet while the clay is still wet and not have to worry about getting it off the sling at exactly the right time, when it is hard enough to hold the shape but still soft enough to add the feet!
You can't let your clay dry out before you add the feet, because the feet will fall off during the firing.

You can also put the canvas over a plywood box.
Staple the canvas to the outside of the box.
The curvatures can be changed by how tightly you pull the canvas.
You can staple just two ends or all four ends for different effects.
If you want to make this more versatile, make a version where you can vary the amount of curvature.
Attach screws or nails to the outside of the box.
It is a lot easier to just use a clothes basket and they come in round or rectangular, and are inexpensive.

Newspaper No Plaster

Another thing you might think about is making a form out of loosely crumpled and dampened newspapers.
This will give you a more no plaster loose look.
Shape the damp, crumpled newspaper into any form you like and cover it with plastic. The newspaper will dry and this hump mold will likely be usable for a few tries.
If it starts to come apart you can squirt the newspaper with water and re-shape.

These are just a few fun things you can try to make with no plaster at all.
I bet some of you can come up with other ideas for a no plaster mold to use in making your masterpiece!

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles by it.



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Have you ever come up with a good idea while working with your handmade pottery and thought that you would like to share it with others? You have? Well, why not send it to us and we will add it to the tips page for all to see.

Handmade pottery can be a very gratifying hobby that produces fun and satisfying results. For many people it's an enjoyable release that is created by working an inanimate mound of clay into a beautiful work of art that you made through your artistic abilities.

The best way of starting out is to take a few lessons from Youtube. You will probably waste quite a bit in materials when you first get started. Figuring out how to truly make handmade pottery correctly and shape into what you want it to be can be quite an ordeal. The different tools that a normal shop will have can be fun to try. You will soon see which ones you like to use the most and then when you are ready you will know which ones to buy.

With the help of the internet, you can now purchase most if not all of your ceramic and pottery tools and supplies online. We are located far from any well supplied dealers and yet working with reliable ceramic and pottery suppliers online has allowed us to recieve most of our orders within a timely manner.

When you get all set up, just enjoy the hobby and have fun at it. Some people get pretty serious and start selling their creations at craft fairs and small stores, but others just like to create items for themselves, relatives, and friends. Whichever kind of handmade pottery you desire to endeavor, enjoy the hobby and have fun doing it.

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