3 Slip Casting Myths Debunked
What slip casting actually is versus what you might think it is. I'm going to dive into:
I want to start with asking you a question. What is your honest opinion on slip casting? I have seen a wide range of opinions on this topic and I’m eager to dive in and talk about them with you.
A while ago, I opened up Instagram on my phone and checked my notifications. Usually I love checking my notifications and seeing who comments, asks questions or wants to chat! But one particular comment on one of my posts about slip casting stood out to me and took me back. The comment said: "Slip casting is for those who don't know how to throw."
My first thought was, really? Think that's what this is about? And it kind of hurt my feelings. The second was, you must really not know anything about slip casting molds if you draw that conclusion.
It made me realize there are a lot of people out there that have allowed themselves to believe myths or created myths for themselves simply from a lack of knowledge. They have believed all this time that slip casting isn’t handmade, or that it is mass produced, boring or easy. So let’s debunk these myths!
Have you ever thought that slip casting wasn’t handmade?
The slip casting process has been deemed as being removed from the handmade nature of pottery. However, this isn’t the case at all and let me tell you why!
Just like throwing, slip casting is just one step in the whole process of ceramics. You still need to make your molds, know how to handle your slip and slip cast, not to mention all the steps that come after that with trimming, finishing, firing, and glazing.
A slip cast piece gets handled just as many times as a thrown piece does. It still takes time, skill, and knowledge to make your pieces no matter what method you choose to make them.
Have you ever thought that slip casting is the easy way out?
It is true that slip casting molds do allow for more detailed and difficult forms to be produced at an easier level. It opens up the opportunity to create non-round forms (unlike the wheel produces) at a much faster rate than hand building or altering each piece.
But just because someone chooses to slip cast their pieces doesn't mean that it's always easier, or that they don't know how to construct in other ways. Slip casting is a tool that you can utilize to help you in the studio, just like you might use a giffin grip to help trim, or your slab roller to roll out clay, or an extruder to make handles. How many of you use those types of tools? And have you ever thought of them as an easy way out?
Learning mold making isn’t easy. It requires practice, knowledge, and several steps to achieve your final product.
Initially, the steps are longer, but once you have some working molds and a system in place, making those difficult to produce forms will save you time.
Have you ever believed that slip casting is mass produced?
Have you ever seen a photo on Instagram and thought to yourself, “how the heck did they make that!?” then stalk their feed endlessly, looking for more photos and videos of how they made that super cool, unique piece?
I’ll let you in on a little secret. Slip casting molds open up a whole new opportunity of aesthetics to be created!
Methods such as:
Slip casting molds allow you to be even more creative and achieve what isn’t possible with throwing.
It also simplifies the construction process, giving you more time and freedom to experiment with surface decoration.
To recap, when you let yourself believe that slip casting molds aren't handmade, are the easy way out or that they're mass produced, you're only holding yourself back from trying out a technique that you could be utilizing to move yourself or your business forward.
Slip casting opens the door to try a whole new whelm of cool techniques, push yourself creatively and learn a new skill set.
Think about the potential you have by using slip casting molds.