Below is my latest pottery piece. I have been totally getting back into press molds recently. The short way to explain press molds is that you press clay into, well, a mold – and smooth it out into a bowl, platter, or whatever the shape is of the original mold. You can put things between the smooshed clay and the mold to make interesting patterns, or do stuff with the ridges where the clay meets up or the edges of the bowl – like I did below.
I had been having trouble for forever getting my press molds really smooth and begged the Queen Bee of Press Molds at the studio for help. She showed me some special tools – ones they don’t have laying around for the students because they are too expensive to stock, but they are the ones she uses, of course. “How much?” I ask, thinking it’s gonna be like $30 each. Six bucks she replies. Um, yeah – I’ll take one in each size – thanks very much! And it’s drastically improved my technique, so I am now making press molds left and right.
My teacher also talked me into trying the glaze technique below, where you use this special bronze glaze in the first firing (usually you only glaze in the second firing) and then you use particularly drippy glaze in the second firing. Blah blah blah – it was risky – but it paid off, because I freaking LOVE this bowl!
As you know, Declan has been coming to the studio with me on Sundays while Bryan works on his 3D stuff. He’s been having a ball – and he finally has something to show for it! His first cup. Also a press mold, and – yes – I did a fair amount of sanding on it because he kept telling me that he wanted to drink from it and I didn’t want to end up in the ER for a sliced lip. But nonetheless, he really did make this cup mostly himself from start to finish and he is so proud of himself!
Go Dex! You rock, kid!