This is the procedure for turning liquid slip into a solid, fairly rigid shape of set size and form.
The size and form of the cast piece are determined by the shape of the mould. The mould is filled with slip and left long enough for the slip to solidify to the required thickness. The moulds are then tipped to drain off the excess slip. The thickness of the cast is totally dependant on the time between filling and draining the mould and the rate at which the cast builds up.
After draining the mould, the cast is still saturated with water and far too soft to stand up under its own weight. It is left to dry to let the mould absorb more water, which causes it to shrink.
As soon as practicable the mould is opened and the piece is removed, this lets the piece shrink and dry freely.
This is a piece of ware that has been removed from the mould but has not been dried. It is said to be green ware, but is actually a dark grey colour due to its high water content. In this state it is soft and fairly pliable. At this stage any unwanted sections are removed and additional parts are added.
After being dried overnight the water content reduces considerably and the piece of ware will be a light grey in colour. In this state it is rigid and brittle and requires careful handling.
Trimming & Smoothing
This process takes away all seams that are left on the piece after parting the mould. Using a knife to remove the seams and sponging over using clean water makes the piece smooth and ready to go onto the next stage.
This is a check done to the ware after trimming and smoothing checking for faults prior to it being fired.