May 5, 2010

Next Steps in Molding

Yesterday I made molds for the wing pendants and the rebuilt pot carvings that I made recently.  Someone on one of the blog posts had asked what happens to the carvings, so I figured I would show this step. I wrote an extensive tutorial a couple of years ago that shows this process with step by step photos. It sometimes takes me a while to get them molded and ready to produce after carving (I think mostly because the carving is the best part, and the molding...not so much).  First, I had to bisque fire the original carvings.  Then, I made each mold by pressing the bisqued carving into a semi flattened patty of clay, pulling the clay up on the sides of the carving to get it all submerged.  The bisque original can be easily taken out and the negative space in the clay forms the mold.  I usually have to do some finishing work to make the mold more detailed, often done in the leather hard or dry stages, scraping and sanding with dental tools and damp brushes and cloth.  Then the mold has to be fired to bisque before it is used, so it has to dry fully.  After it is fired, I can make many pendants from it!  This is not the most scientific or detailed way to make a mold, but it works for me, and I actually really like the porcelain as the mold material.  It allows me to make molds from the bisqued porcelain originals, and I like pressing clay into the molds and being able to pop the objects out right away, which I can't do with the rubber molds I used to make. There is some appeal to me about the carving material, mold, and finished product all made out of gives my process continuity or something.

Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.

1 comment:

  1. Molding is one art that I want to learn because it has a nice output.