In my learning agreement I stated that I wanted to try slip casting. This was a bit of a strange thing for me to suggest as I love throwing and the thought of me ‘mass producing’ the same form kind of goes against what I want to do. However I still wanted to give it a go so instead of spreading a lot of time making a mould I thought I would use a mould a friend of mine gave me a few years ago.
I have never done any slip casting before and although I had had a detailed tutorial in Hungary I felt I needed a refresher so I sent some time on YouTube to remind me of the process.
The moulds that my friend had left me were ideal for what my project entails- a range of tall vase forms. I had bought a tub of porcelain casting slip when we visited Stoke last year so thought it was about time I tried it out.
I found the process very straightforward and relatively easy (once I got the correct consistency of the slip) I poured the slip into the mould and topped it up as it sank then after 15 mins I poured out the excess and left it stoop on its head until the slip had dried enough so that when I turned it over the slip wouldn’t sink down leaving a clean crisp inside.
These are the set of the casts drying before their first firing. They make a great group with the different heights of the same form which is what I want however they are all the same diameter and ideally I would want more variety.
I then tried to manipulate the form in a similar way to the thrown manipulate forms I mentions in an earlier post. I thought that this would add movement and interest and also would mean that each piece is unique. I could work on this style more and try different manipulations as this is the only one I tried.
The above images are the finished glaze pots. I only partially glazed the outside to purposefully show the contrast of the white porcelain against the bright red glaze as I love unglazed porcelain. This effect I really like and looks great except for the fact that all of the vases warped! As I mentioned earlier this is the first time I have cast anything, perhaps I didn’t leave the slip in the cast long enough (it was only 15mins) would leaving it for 20mins or 25 mins make it less likely to warp as it would be thicker or does firing slip casts to 1260 degrees too high? I think the later but I might still try a thicker slip.
The above 2 images have been made by leaving the slip in the cast for longer, as I stated I would do above. The form has held its shape a lot more with less warping however I have decided not to go down the route of slip casting as they look so different from my other work. The thrown forms I make do need work and with more practice I will get better but I would rather have hand thrown work as that is what I love to do more.