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Anyone got a good amount of experience making slump and hump mold plates? I am thinking about making some plates for our personal use and I don't really want to throw or/and trim 12-16 dinner plates.

 

Anyone recommend a good read on making hump/slump plates and or a good mold to use? I searched forums but couldn't find anything significant, which really surprized me. 

 

I thought about just throwing footless plates(thin disk), but meh. I was also just thinking about rolling out flat plates and then just bending the edges up to make square flat plates?

 

Wife is requesting plates, because we are running low.. I told her just to go buy some she likes, but she refuses.... yarggg..

 

I just did a quick google on thin flat plates and found this: 

 

post-63346-0-67627000-1488805956_thumb.jpg

 

I could easily throw this, I just am not confident I could keep it flat as it is drying.

 

Thoughts? Ideas? I just want the easiest method to make some decent plates.

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I make hundreds of plates on hump molds per year. Generally speaking this is easier than throwing plates. But there is a long development process for designing and making the molds, and learning how to handle slabs soundly enough to make plates that don't warp. I would plan to spend about a year on this process. You will throw away a lot of molds (when you realize the shape isn't quite right), and you will recycle a lot of plates, and hammer a lot of fired and warped plates.

 

If your goal is to make a one set of plates for personal use, it would be much faster to throw them.

 

I like the form in the photo you linked. To keep them as flat a possible, first make sure they are as evenly thick as possible, especially in the corner where the floor meets the wall. Compress that flat floor with a straight-edge wood rib. Compress it like crazy. Allow them to dry on a surface that is completely and reliably flat. Dry them slowly and evenly. Make sure your kiln shelves are flat and free of bumps and debris. Plan on some amount of warping anyways, so throw more than you need.

douglas likes this

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Another idea is to throw a few hump molds.

Load the clay on a bat and smooth it on your wheel until you get the inside shapes you want your plates to be.

Let them set up to leather hard and use to make a few plates.

When you are done, simply re-cycle the clay.

 

I like making my molds out of clay because this process does not leave you with a whole bunch of heavy plaster molds or bulky styrofoam molds.

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There are hump mold systems out there for use on the wheel. I have a few molds and the fittings from one such company. I had thought to try throwing the paten plates for communion sets n that way. I threw several, but found in the long run for what I wanted they were not quite right. Thing is, by throwing it upside down you can start with a slab, pull a foot ring, and thicken rims etc all in a pretty easy process. Thickness is also easier, as you are rolling out the slab. Also is the plaster hump allows for pretty even drying and minimal handling.

 

 

 

best,

Pres

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my article about making hump molds was in PMI May/June 2008

 

http://ceramicartsdaily.org/pottery-making-illustrated/pottery-making-illustrated-mayjune-2008/

 

Maybe you can find a copy.

Pottery Making Illustrated May/June 2008

PMI0508

Cover: Amy Santoferraro

 

All-Access and Web-Edition Subscribers can view/download this issue here.

Buy this back issue—$3.99 (PDF only).

 

Marcia

Joseph F and clay lover like this

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Make them. Your family will have a piece of you for the future generations in the work you do.

 

I think Mea is right about how much time you will spend learning and making your molds. If you have lots of time, go for it, but if the wife is waiting, throw em, so she don't throw you out, LOL JK. 

 

I don't have any good read, except what the tribe is saying here.

 

I am going to try Chris's method. It sound like a quicker way a than making mold.

 

And do not forget that you have to store the molds when not in use. 

 

Best wishes Joseph.

Joseph F likes this

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After reading all these great replies. I think I am just going to throw the plates. I should have known it would be a ton of trail and error to make some good molds and plates. I don't know why I assumed it wouldn't be. Isn't everything in ceramics massive trail and error! Silly me.

 

Thanks for all the replies. I guess I am just going to throw a thin footless plate like in the picture. Hopefully I can pull it off. Drying slow is going to be the key I guess. I am also going to buy some new kiln shelves. Mine are beat up pretty bad from all my testing.

 

Thanks everyone for all the great advice.

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Do you have any Hydrobats? A form like that will be greatly helped by a Hydrobat. No wiring under, so the bottom will be perfectly flat. Might be worth investing in one or two for this project.

Joseph F likes this

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I don't. I only have masonite bats and wonder bats (bat system). I have to go to Atlanta tomorrow for a hospital checkup on my health, and I will stop my Davens and pickup some Hydrobats.

 

Good idea.

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Welp. Daven's was out of stock. So I just ordered from the source! 3 of them. Figure that will give me enough to figure out this plate thing! Finally getting back into clay after nearly 8 months without touching it. Burnout OVER! finally. Going down the glaze rabbit hole was rough. 

 

 

 

Thanks everyone for your help? Should I post the finished plates here in a few months once I figure it all out? 

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Joseph
 
I found that using canvas bats or tar paper bats over a regular bat is helpful when you are ready to cut the plate from the bat.  Run your wire tool between the hard bat and the canvas bat.
 
The details on canvas / tar paper bats can be found in clayart archives
http://archives.clayartarchives.com/ 
and in Vince Pitelka's textbook.  (basically a circle of canvas or tar paper cut to fit on a bat)
   
LT

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I ordered the hydro bats. I have heard amazing things about them so I figured it wouldn't hurt to get a few. I really want to do the least amount of work possible so I think throwing the plate nearly finished sounds right up my ally. 

 

I have made many plates in the past and nearly always they warp, my garage in the summer is so hot, even in a plastic tent they still slightly warp. Even if I undercut them on the wheel, which I don't like doing. I personally can't wait to try these things out. If they work as advertised then I will be able to pretty much finish the plate just by flipping it over and doing a little smoothing. I dont plan on adding foot ring to plates. I really dislike all that extra work on plates. Which is why I haven't made these plates yet. haha. If all goes as planned the wife will be happy and I will have something to put dinner on...

 

Then I can never make plates again ! woooo hooo. Although, maybe I will become a plate machine.....

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If you ever want to try slump molds and making your own for plates or platters, you can make just the walls for a form. Thrown walls left round or altered to oval or whatever, since there is no base this is fairly quick, then bisque fired. Form put on a board or batt then slab construction for the pot. Also can put them on the wheel after slab done and add some throwing lines. Forms made fairly thick and low bisqued so they are quite porous. I was sloppy making the oval one, there should be an ever so slight indentation at the bottom of the wall, makes a mark on the slab to use as a glaze line.

post-747-0-61136700-1488843684_thumb.jpg

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I found some square plates at the thrift store.  Altered the shape a bit to suit me and that is what I have been using for flat bottomed molds for plates.  however......Joseph, thanks for starting this thread.  I really want to try Chris's method and Marcia's!  .....Like Mea mentioned, I have had better success with plates not warping if I make sure the clay is thick enough.  The other thing I do is place bags of rice on the middle of the plate while it is drying.  That does seem to help.

 

Roberta

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Thrown plates will warp if they're not even on the bottom, or if they're too thick. I don't find that the warping has much to do with the drying. I dry mine right side up and upside down and it doesn't make any difference as long as they're trimmed thin enough. How thin? You've used plates for most of your life, so you know how much they should weigh. They shouldn't be much heaver than a commercial plate, otherwise they're annoying to use, especially emptying the dishwasher.

 

I can throw plates much, much faster than I can make them from slabs. There's really not much to them once you get into the groove.

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There are a few ways to create plates without the wheel that I use.

 

1) If you want a quick simple disposable form to create a plate use Chinet plates. I use this method for teaching classes and even novice Potters can make plates that don't warp. Basically roll out your clay, lay over Chinet plate, use pounce to shape to form, trim, drop on floor to settle the clay, if you want a decorative rim place another Chinet plate on top of this and gently press in around the rim to capture that line. You can also add your own texture like lace, leaves, etc. you can remove the top plate almost instantly or at least the next day. LEAVE on wareboard until firm leather hard then sandwich and flip, pull off Chinet plate from bottom of plate, use shredder to carefully clean up edges. I slide mine off the board and onto wire shelves to dry. I have very little to no warping. The secret is the compressing of the clay into the form and NEVER pick up the plate off the wareboard while working with it. Lifting by the rim will cause your plate to warp, so careful handling on boards is required until it is dry enough to do so safely.

 

2) Bisque molds. I started out like Marcia using dry clay molds and then when I was completely happy I used that to create 8 bisque molds by rolling out a slightly thicker slab and forming, then just bisque firing them. You can even design right in any textures you want. Once bisque fired I just use these as if they were plaster molds, I in fact think they dry the clay faster than plaster. I like them for my silk screened imagery since I can flip the damp image face down over the mold and it won't smudge the image. I add a simple foot ring using an extrusion. I have not had an issue with Plates warping using this method either. I am still tweaking this to make the whole process faster.p but I'd say I'm am 90% there.

 

3) use craft foam and push plates. This is a great method for unique shaped plates. I have sets in floral, ornate square, and scalloped shapes that can be used for plates. Basically cut a craft foam ring into the shape you want then roll out clay and cut it the size and shape as the interior edge of your craft foam ring. Dry this between drywall until leather hard, then add little knobs to hold and pull the press plate out when you use it. Bisque fire this press plate. To use lay your ring of craft foam on a cushion, then lay a slab of clay over it, position your press plate in the center of your clay disc that is laying on top of your craft foam circle. Press down into the clay with the push plate and you will get a nice plate with a rim. The cushion cradles the foam and clay and when you push down the craft foam causes the rim of the plate to curve up whistle the push plate presses the bottom flat. Carefully remove from cushion, leave craft foam on the bottom until leather hard and dry on wire racks. This is a little more freeform than the previous 2 methods so there will be some variations but I use this for my floral petal plates and it works really well.

 

I hope one of these methods might help you get the plates you want.

 

Terry

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pugaboo said 2. Bisque molds. I started out like Marcia using dry clay molds and then when I was completely happy I used that to create 8 bisque molds by rolling out a slightly thicker slab and forming, then just bisque firing them.

 

I don't use bisque molds . I used plaster molds at first with plywood rings to sandwich the slab. Then I was giving many workshops and flying with plaster was ridiculous. So Now I sandwich the slab, prop up the plywood rings and let the slab drop into a large hump shaped form in the air!

 

Marcia

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Oops sorry Marcia I meant Chris!

 

I start out using a clay mold that is just dried and then when I am completely happy I make multiple bisque molds so I can make a bunch at once. I often do the dry clay molds for special orders that way once done I can reclaim the clay.

 

Marcia I like your way too I might have to give it a try for use during classes, might be less likely to get damaged.

 

Lots of ways to make a plate and now that my wheel is ready to throw standing up I plan to try throwing some as well.

 

T

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