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Example Bisque Piece Example Bisque Piece Example Bisque Piece Example Bisque Piece Example Bisque Piece

How It Works... After You Order

"Pouring a Ceramic Mold"

Rows and rows of molds After you order your pieces, the mold or molds are pulled from their shelves They all have their own individual numbers. We have close to 3,000 molds! More molds!

Cleaning a mold They are then placed on a table, where they are unstrapped and checked for cleanliness before pouring. We use an air compressor to blow away the dust, old dried slip, and other imperfections that might detract from the perfection of a great piece of bisque.

The mold is then bound with large rubber bands or straps with a piece of cut cardboard under the metal piece to help keep the metal from digging into the mold.
Appyling straps to mold We want our molds to last! They are one of the biggest parts of our business! Applying straps to mold

Unboxing the slip Swishing the slip Pouring the slip into the table
We get our liquid clay called "slip" in 2 gallon boxes. The bag of slip is put onto a table and "swished" around a bit. The bag is then cut and poured into our pouring table. It's messy work!

Checking the slip The slip is checked EACH day before pouring to make sure the consistency is accurate. These instruments help find out there is too much or too little water in the mixture. Checking the slip
Making sure this is all just right makes a PERFECT piece!
If everything checks out, it's time to POUR!

Straining slip into a pitcher The slip is poured through a strainer to ensure that there are no air bubbles or foreign particles in the fresh slip.
Using a pitcher makes pouring small molds easier. For larger molds, the slip is poured through the strainer directly into the mold. Straining slip into a large mold
Pouring a piece The water in the slip is pulled into the sides of the mold, making the clay stick to the sides. This procedure can take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes per mold.
Every mold is different! We take care to watch each mold carefully to make sure the clay is not too thick or too thin.

Pouring excess slip from a mold Each mold is emptied when the thickness is right and set aside to dry to the consistency of leather. Again, each mold is different and might take between20 minutes to overnight to reach the desired consistency.
The picture to the right shows the thickness to which each mold is poured. Proper thickness of the slip in a mold

Pulling a mold apart

Pieces in a mold
When we get that "Leather" feeling, we carefully pull the mold apart.

As you can see, there are parts to put together!

Molds with attachments take a little more work before they are left to dry.

The first thing we do after the piece is released from the mold is remove the pouring stem.
Removing the pouring stem Then we make a hole in each piece that will be attached. If there is no hole, air is trapped in the piece can not breathe in the kiln while firing. Cutting a hole in the pieces
If this happens, it could blow up and hurt EVERY piece in the kiln!
The VERY soft "greenware" piece has a thicker slip applied to one side of the attachment. There is a special "glue" that is added to the regular slip to make these attachments secure.
We keep a separate container holding our attachment glue. You can see it in the picture to the left.

Attaching a piece These pieces are all put together now. They are still very wet and can be easily damaged if not handled properly. Completed greenware

Below is the procedure completed on a new elephant that we have in stock.
Removing elephant piece from the mold Elephant mold
Attaching an ear Attaching an ear
Attaching the trunk Attaching the trunk

Pieces set out to dry
This is the drying process. Simply put on a table with a fan and left to dry thoroughly. The houses in the back are dry while the recently poured pieces are the darker ones in the front.
Drying can take up to three days for the larger pieces.

The Next Step is the Cleaning Process

Please email us if you have any questions or concerns, we would love to hear from you!