Slip Casting: Tea Caddy

At last I am ready to slip cast, as this is the first time I have done so I was taken through the process on a one to one basis with Sean Kingsley (ceramics expert). This blog post will take you through the whole process using images as visual aids. I decided to start with a relatively easy form, my tea caddy design. As the tea caddy is a uniform shape the best way to form it was on the plaster lathe. This allowed me to accurately modify the plaster form so it was uniform over the entire object. First thing was to make a template to work with; this was used to give a very basic visualisation of the objects profile.

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Once the template was made I then needed to cast the cylindrical plaster in which I was going to turn to create my model. This was done by wrapping a sheet of plastic into a cylindrical shape and then pouring liquid plaster into it.  After ten minutes the plastic sheet could be removed toi reveal the cast plaster cylinder.

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The plaster was then put onto the lathe and turned to the appropriate size and shape.

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I decide to turn both the lid and body of the tea caddy in one piece; this was to allow the lid to flow into the body effectively. In the image below you can see where the cut was made.

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After the lathe work was finished I was left with an incredibly accurate model. This model was then to be used to cast a slip casting mould.

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The slip cast mould was then cast using the same liquid plaster as used in the lathe model. The plaster is poured around the model up to its half-way point, which is contained within a wooden box. This process is mimicked on the other side to produce a perfect two piece half cast. This cast fits together using locater knobs that were fashioned during casting.

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The mould will now be put in a drying cupboard for 4 days in order to allow the plaster to appropriately dry. After this drying process has been completed I will be able to start creating slip cast pieces.






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