Playing with Porcelain

This week I am testing casting slip as part of investigating porcelain as an option for my ceramic furniture. First, I tested the casting slip to see how it fired using these furniture molds.


The tests revealed that the NS-124 Antique White Porcelain Slip by Laguna had the best surface at cone six. The table leg molds I had needed to be re-made because they were designed for press molding, not slip casting. I pressed the the table leg again, and made it in one piece to set up for molding. Here, the table leg is set up with clay to make sure that the plaster only casts one section.


After one side is cast, the mold is keyed and soaped with release agent so that the next piece can be cast. With these carvings I have to be careful not to make them too deep or complex so that the plaster doesn’t lock onto the forms.


The mold of the complete table leg is much larger and heavier than the press molds. I had to use heavy duty straps to keep it tight enough to hold the amount of slip that had to be poured in to fill it. I filled the mold with it inside a bucket just in case of a leak.


Here you can see the finished cast ready to remove from the mold. The cast will have to be cleaned up and have the seam lines removed, but this process will allow me to create detailed porcelain table legs very quickly.


The next stages of problem solving will involve creating a table top that is also slip cast and works with the legs. I will also have to deal with possible slumping of the porcelain during firing, and maybe create some firing supports to combat this. I will have to re-mold the figure heads like the dodo, and other small sprig pieces to work with the casting slip.

About Ariel Bowman

I grew up in Dallas, Texas where I learned to love nature, animals, and art. I graduated with a BFA in ceramics from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2011. I am currently working towards my MFA in ceramics at the University of Florida. This blog serves as a way for my friends and family, as well as anyone interested in my work, to view not only the finished pieces, but some of the process as well. You can subscribe to this blog to keep up to date on what I am currently working on in the studio, research, new sources, and exhibitions.
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3 Responses to Playing with Porcelain

  1. Mark Woodard says:

    Ariel, you’ll be pleased to know that Atlas is moving to a new home within the next month. We are hoping that he likes our new digs. We attended the annual KCAI Art Auction last weekend and saw a piece by Caleb Bowman. Any relationship? It was very nice.

    • Ariel Bowman says:

      That is great to hear!I am so glad he is still safe with you. As the first prehistoric animal that I sculpted, Atlas has become one of the most important pieces I have ever made. It is great to know he has such a loving home. I don’t think I know a Caleb, not a relation though. Glad you are still both collecting great work.

  2. Pingback: Clay Blog Review: June 2017 - Pottery Making Info

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