The holiday season is approaching at warping speed. This is the busiest time for us artists. I've been struggling with how I can make the same piece uniformly, repeatedly, and quickly. I have examined and refined every step of the process but still, production isn't fast enough. Wouldn't it be great if we can operate proficiently on a 4-hour daily sleep? Then there will be 4 extra hours in the studio every day. Don't laugh, but I've tried this, and of course it didn't work. I ended up making more mistakes and working slower. As a die-hard potter's wheel devotee, I couldn't fathom the thought of molds. But after weeks of struggle, I'm warming up to the idea nicely. So, one night, I went online to do some research and ran into a book by Andrew Martin, titled The Essential Guide to Mold Making and Slip Casting. For those of you who are interested in learning the process of mold making and slip casting, I highly recommend it.
This self-published book contains literally hundreds of color photographs to illustrate step-by-step instructions. Martin left no details unanswered. He started with an overview on tools and materials, continued on with plaster recipes, one-piece to multi-piece molds, slip formulation, slip casting, and finally troubleshooting.
After reading the book thoroughly from front to back, I bought a 100lb bag of plaster and some slip. This weekend, I will attempt to make a few molds.