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Hi - I am very new to working with clay. I bought metal tea tsa molds in India and Nepal and would like to make more than one cast every couple of days. 

I have to push the clay into the mold to get the detail, but then have to wait several days before I can get it out. 

For release agents; I have tried:

corn starch - windex - water - and olive oil. 

None of them realease the clay easily enough not to distort the cast. 

Any advise would be appreciated!

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Not sure exactly how detailed the molds are, but you can spray them with cooking oil and line them as carefully as possible with plastic wrap. The oil will make the plastic stick to the mold, when your piece is fully pressed it will come out easily then you peel the plastic off. I sometimes use large plastic slump molds and have the same problem as your metal ones but don't have to worry about the detail issue. 

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1 hour ago, neilestrick said:

The problem is that the mold is not absorbent. What you may want to do is make a solid clay piece from the molds, then use it to cast a plaster mold.

Thanks - very interesting. 

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Below where it says "choose files", you can upload photos from your computer--they must be small in size. If they are too big, you'll get a msg. and can adjust the sizing in Paint or some other photo editor. If you look at some other topics you'll see people posting pics, plus photos are put in the Gallery.  Welcome to the club.

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You might try spraying the mold with WD40 as a mold release. You might also try using a fan over the pots to help dry and shrink them a little faster than what you get now. Keep an eye on the drying process so they don't dry too much and possibly crack...

JohnnyK

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Another suggestion: when using a press mold go ahead and carefully hollow it out as much as possible. If it's really stuck in there you can take most of the clay out while it's still in the mold leaving a 1/2" shell, or more, any amount will help, even just poking a few holes with a skewer about 1/2 apart will help a lot, -that will dry the clay and let it drop out of the mold much faster. Beware to cover the edges with a little plastic or foil or they will crack even while still in the mold. I like this method as it saves me risking breaking the piece later when it's delicate greenware, the mold no longer holding it together, and must be hollowed out. 

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On 7/10/2018 at 6:40 AM, JohnnyK said:

You might try spraying the mold with WD40 as a mold release. You might also try using a fan over the pots to help dry and shrink them a little faster than what you get now. Keep an eye on the drying process so they don't dry too much and possibly crack...

JohnnyK

Inverting the WD40'd mold slightly above a rack or slats as it dries should allow it to drop when it shrinks

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