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Latex Mold & Low Fire Clay

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#1 CelticRune76



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Posted 03 April 2013 - 03:32 PM

Can I use/make a latex mold and use it to create low fire clay pieces?

I'm just beginning in the world of clay, I've been working with ceramic molds and pouring slip to create pieces, so my question (above) is in reference to something I want to do, but have not tried yet. I would like to make a chess set (copy of the one I own) to give to a friend, but be able to create it in clay so I can carve and color (glaze) as I want. I have mold making latex rubber (that I usually use for my childrens' school projects & arts n crafts) and I was wondering if I can use it to make a mold of the chess pieces and board, use a low fire clay (not pouring slip) in the mold to create the new pieces. Would this work? Should I use a release agent? Is there a specific rubber latex mold I should get or can I use what I have? I have a glass chess set and a wood one - would one be better than the other to make the molds?

Any ideas &/or suggestions are extremely welcome.


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#2 Chris Campbell

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 04:10 PM

Yes, this is do able.I have used all kinds of materials to make molds so I don't think it matters at all. The latex has the advantage of low shrinkage so your set will not be too much smaller. You can make your molds out of latex then just press any kind of damp clay into them. You should be able to just pop them out right after and join your two halves while they are wet. Let them set up and harden a bit. Do your cleaning and carving then dry them very slowly in a controlled environment. Make lots of extras just in case. They will shrink of course, so your finished set will be about 15% or so smaller than the original. Make your chess board from a flat slab ... about 15% larger than you want to make up for shrinkage.

Wood or glass? The only issue for wood would be cleaning it after and for glass, making sure the clay does not stick to it ... Maybe a light coat of oil like baby oil or cooking oil??

Also, I hope this is for a Christmas gift as it might take a lot longer than you hope.
Have fun and post a picture when it's done. : > )
Chris Campbell Pottery
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain


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#3 Denice


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Posted 03 April 2013 - 08:51 PM

You might consider making your own set, I made one for my son that was made with black porcelain and white porcelain slip. I sculpted them out of modeling clay and made plaster molds, the only mistake I made was using porcelain, it was too fragile for a 10 year old boy's chess set. Good thing I made molds. Denice

#4 AtomicAxe


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Posted 03 April 2013 - 09:21 PM

using the latex mold as a press mold will work since you're not looking to let the mold absorb some moisture from the clay. It's not ideal though as the mold is flexible and the clay won't be given a real chance to set up and become firm.

might be easier to make a couple tiny plaster molds for a more stable molded piece.

#5 Iforgot


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Posted 03 April 2013 - 10:51 PM

Sure it will work, but using latex molds for clay deforms the molds afer just a few uses. Not recomended.


Derek VonDrehle

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