Bisque Ware Slumping Molds
This is part two of a
multi-part tip on using bisque ware as a slumping mold. Click
here to go to part one.
Once you've selected your bisque ware, the next step is to
prepare it for use as a slumping mold. This usually involves
drilling several small holes in the bottom of the mold. These
holes allow air to escape during slumping; all but the most shallow
molds will require that holes be drilled.
In addition to the mold, you'll need an electric drill and the
appropriate bit. Drill bits should be small -- 1/16" or 3/32"
is ideal, but 1/8" can also work. A masonry bit will work
well, but good holes can be drilled with bits made for drilling in
wood or other materials.
Though not essential, a drill press will make the drilling
easier and will virtually guarantee good holes. But even if
you don't have a drill press you can do a good job with a handheld
drill, so long as you drill slowly and carefully and with the drill
held straight up and down.
For best results, drill holes in the deepest part of the mold.
You should drill at least two (and three is better) holes, spaced
equally apart in the mold. You can drill from either the
bottom or the top of the mold; use whichever approach is easier.
Drill slowly, and be especially careful when starting and finishing
the hole -- these are the times when the drill is most likely to
slip and cause a chipped spot in the bisque ware.
Once the holes are drilled, clean the edges around the hole by
sanding the mold lightly with fine sandpaper. Then kiln wash
the mold, allow the wash to dry, and you're ready for slumping.
Handled carefully, a bisque ware mold should last for dozens of
Copyright 2006 Brad Walker. All rights