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#1 Dawn~

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 11:27 PM

My husband and I have been looking for an opportunity to learn a creative trade and over time possibly supplement our income when we retire. We still have 15 yrs until then , however I am a planner always planning ahead.. . We never tried ceramics but found an add on Craigslist, a semi local woman selling off her full lot of ceramic home studio. (2 hour drive) A very good price we settled on, 2 electric kilns, 1 large slip mixer, 1large 8 foot pouring table and many many molds. The overwhelming part is the molds .we filled a 26 foot trench with all the equipment and about 10 pallets of molds. That was only 1/2 the molds . I could only fit 1/3 of the first load of molds in my house and we rented a 10x20 storage space. Currently we are inventorying the molds.

We are overwhelmed with the amount of molds and still need to go back to pick up the remainder. Having never even poured one mold we will be storing and paying this storage for some time ..there are large and small molds so far we have inventoried 200 and hardly scratched the surface... Am I over reacting? :-).
Your thoughts are welcome...

Located in Jacksonville Florida... Thanks for reading ...

#2 Lucille Oka

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 02:00 AM

Over reacting, about what? You've purchased a ‘heck-a-lotta’ molds. Overwhelming it may be but inventorying is a good idea; dividing them up by one part molds, two part molds, and three part molds, etc. may make categorizing easier. The more pieces the mold the more complex the casting.
If you have never done slip casting before try casting the one piece molds first; see if they were constructed properly and see if you like it. You can buy slip to get started and test the molds. Porcelain slip, terra cotta slip, and white ware slips are available from suppliers.

Any molds that you have decided against you can always donate to schools or give them to community centers.

Get yourself some good books on slip casting and/or on mold making (there is a lot of information about slip casting in them); there are also lots of good books and the YouTube videos about ceramics are also helpful.

I hope you have a lot of shelving; have fun.

John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

#3 scoobydoozie

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 07:26 AM

Good luck with your new endevour! I found a couple of tricks that helped with pouring ceramic molds. My favorite is to use the Casting Rings available at National Art Craft. I found they really helped me pour consistent greenware thickness. They are simply different thickness plastic rings/washers that are placed on top of the mold when you pour. You pick a ring thickness that matches the thickness you want the cast greenware to be and set it on top of the mold. After you fill the mold with slip, you fill the inner circle of the ring with slip. When that ring is almost leather hard, you know its time to dump the slip from the mold and it will be the same thickness as what was in the ring. Even if you don't use one for every mold its a handy tool. I love them!

http://www.nationala...d=361&scid=1721

#4 scoobydoozie

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 07:30 AM

You will need to assign a price to charge for each cast mold and create a catalog of the poured pieces to show customers. This can be really time consuming and its great that you have advance time to prepare. Throw away any molds where the detail is overly worn and smooth. You'll find shops and ceramicists don't like pieces where the detail is too worn/faded.

Typical greenware price is 1/10th the new mold price. This formula has been around for years and years and I think it is a bit low for the price of slip today. If anyone else has a better formula, I'd love to hear it. If you have pieces that need cut-outs, those are usually priced a bit higher.

#5 Dawn~

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 11:03 PM

You will need to assign a price to charge for each cast mold and create a catalog of the poured pieces to show customers. This can be really time consuming and its great that you have advance time to prepare. Throw away any molds where the detail is overly worn and smooth. You'll find shops and ceramicists don't like pieces where the detail is too worn/faded.

Typical greenware price is 1/10th the new mold price. This formula has been around for years and years and I think it is a bit low for the price of slip today. If anyone else has a better formula, I'd love to hear it. If you have pieces that need cut-outs, those are usually priced a bit higher.




Thanks for your insight! We really appreciate the feedback. We'll talk again soon

#6 Dawn~

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 11:08 PM

Over reacting, about what? You've purchased a ‘heck-a-lotta’ molds. Overwhelming it may be but inventorying is a good idea; dividing them up by one part molds, two part molds, and three part molds, etc. may make categorizing easier. The more pieces the mold the more complex the casting.
If you have never done slip casting before try casting the one piece molds first; see if they were constructed properly and see if you like it. You can buy slip to get started and test the molds. Porcelain slip, terra cotta slip, and white ware slips are available from suppliers.

Any molds that you have decided against you can always donate to schools or give them to community centers.

Get yourself some good books on slip casting and/or on mold making (there is a lot of information about slip casting in them); there are also lots of good books and the YouTube videos about ceramics are also helpful.

I hope you have a lot of shelving; have fun.



Donating is a great idea, thanks. We are working on the inventory and looking for catalogs to reference some of the molds. We also received about 70 gallons of slip with the purchase ... (I know) the hard work is getting everything on computer then setting up the work space... Thanks for your comments, we really appreciate them.

#7 BruceNS

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 12:48 PM

Donating is a great idea, thanks. We are working on the inventory and looking for catalogs to reference some of the molds. We also received about 70 gallons of slip with the purchase ... (I know) the hard work is getting everything on computer then setting up the work space... Thanks for your comments, we really appreciate them.


Please be sure to talk to an art or pottery teacher and make sure that the items are needed/wanted BEFORE you donate them.

I work at a community center and people frequently donate things that we simply can't use - we have a limited amount of space for pottery and many things just aren't compatible with our current set-up and needs. Also keep in mind that if you don't want it because it's too old and worn out that we might feel the same way. Yes, our budget is limited, but worn out is worn out. Lots of donated items (and LOTS of molds) have wound up in the landfill because none of the pottery people were there to refuse them when they were dropped off and the other staff didn't know better than to accept them. And these unwanted donations wind up costing money because someone has to be paid to load stuff up and haul it to the dump.

I can only speak for my program, but the only slip-casting molds I would even think about accepting would be small, not explicitly religious items related to holidays - snowmen, reindeer, turkeys, eggs, hearts, ghosts, witches. Little things that could be made ahead and painted as part of a children's activity.

#8 Dawn~

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 10:37 PM

Ok Bruce, point taken, I understand donation requires thought, if the molds are ruined why pawn them off on unsuspecting donation organizations......
I understand the impact, that was never the plan. I will offer them for giveaways or trash them unfortunately if no one wants them, the landfill will be on schedule. Unless someone can truly recycle the molds... They should be considered clean fill. Whatever the case it is what it is...

On another note the organizations that accept donations should scrutinize what they accept to a avoid the costly removal of useless items.

I do appreciate your feedback....

#9 BruceNS

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 09:11 PM

Ok Bruce, point taken, I understand donation requires thought, if the molds are ruined why pawn them off on unsuspecting donation organizations......
I understand the impact, that was never the plan. I will offer them for giveaways or trash them unfortunately if no one wants them, the landfill will be on schedule. Unless someone can truly recycle the molds... They should be considered clean fill. Whatever the case it is what it is...

On another note the organizations that accept donations should scrutinize what they accept to a avoid the costly removal of useless items.

I do appreciate your feedback....


I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend. This is something that frustrates me greatly (because I hate to see things that could be useful to someone go to the landfill) and I did go on a bit in that other post.

We do scrutinize and refuse donations when we get the chance. Unfortunately, there are no full time employees in our pottery program and people often don't call ahead, so they show up with stuff when no one is there and some well meaning person from another program accepts the donation. I've heard similar stories from school art teachers and others in similar situations. It's basically just a communication problem within the organisations, but it does seem to be a very common problem.

#10 oldlady

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 10:24 PM

it is really hard to write this since you may think i am too critical. remember your parents good advice when you were just starting out in life? try to think i am thinking of your best interests.

i wish you had said a little more than just that you want to get into something creative and run a business. i am sure you looked into the possibilities before buying all that stuff. i hope it will work out well for you but now is the time to consider whether you are making an investment or being saddled with someone else's castoffs like the charity accepting a donation described above.

working directly with clay is the most fun. have you done any kind of classwork with a potter or may i ask if you have any ceramic experience at all? working with molds is completely different from making something from mud.

have you been to several of your local "paint it yourself" shops and talked to the owners? jacksonville is big enough to have more than one such business. is that the kind of thing you want to do? have you decided what part you want to play? interaction with customers is fun and helping them make something is satisfying. if that is what you mean by creative then go for it. 15 years is a long time ahead to make plans. i may have seen too many business cycles go round to be starry eyed about something so far in the future. styles change and today's molds may be just as attractive in 15 years but i would not count on it.

i do not want to rain on your parade but just pouring molds is not particularly creative and perhaps you need to find that out now without any further investment of time or money.
"putting you down does not raise me up."

#11 Lucille Oka

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:52 AM

The making, pouring, fettling of casts, may not be very creative but it is very technical and not very easy for beginners.
Historically, production potters by order of kings, nobles and patrons had to find ways to make matching ware. So they began casting the wares instead of throwing the pieces. And by the way there were some ceramic pieces that were so complex that only molds could be used for replication. So don't discount the casters, and decorators of molded ware. Look around casted ware is literally everywhere.

John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

#12 oldlady

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:01 AM

The making, pouring, fettling of casts, may not be very creative but it is very technical and not very easy for beginners.
Historically, production potters by order of kings, nobles and patrons had to find ways to make matching ware. So they began casting the wares instead of throwing the pieces. And by the way there were some ceramic pieces that were so complex that only molds could be used for replication. So don't discount the casters, and decorators of molded ware. Look around casted ware is literally everywhere.



it is hard enough to offer a reality check but where in my post did i discount cast work? how did you read that into what i said?
"putting you down does not raise me up."

#13 JBaymore

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:06 AM

it is hard enough to offer a reality check but where in my post did i discount cast work? how did you read that into what i said?


That could possibly be construed right here:

i do not want to rain on your parade but just pouring molds is not particularly creative .............



Think about the change to the sentence by deleting the word "just" there. That would soften the idea a bit.

"i do not want to rain on your parade but pouring molds is not particularly creative ............. "

Forum postings are very easy to mis-read the intent. Probably 75% of the acrimony that develops in forums is because of the lack of a real-time dialog where people can more effectivelty communicate what they are trying to say.


best,

...............john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#14 oldlady

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:48 PM

it is hard enough to offer a reality check but where in my post did i discount cast work? how did you read that into what i said?


That could possibly be construed right here:

i do not want to rain on your parade but just pouring molds is not particularly creative .............



Think about the change to the sentence by deleting the word "just" there. That would soften the idea a bit.

"i do not want to rain on your parade but pouring molds is not particularly creative ............. "

Forum postings are very easy to mis-read the intent. Probably 75% of the acrimony that develops in forums is because of the lack of a real-time dialog where people can more effectivelty communicate what they are trying to say.


best,

...............john


thank you john, i was thinking of the folks who just pour molds and wholesale them to others. i still do not think that is particularly creative. the original poster did not define what they wanted to do and i was just trying to make them think of all the steps from liquid clay to the finished product and their place in that lineup. i will now go sit in the corner.
"putting you down does not raise me up."




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