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Need help as I’m a new potter!

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i just recently took my third pottery class and got quite ambitious! I wanted to make a tray so I used a Styrofoam tray that you get meats on from the grocery store as my mould. I moulded the clay to it. It looks beautiful. I was so proud except the step by mess was to put something between the Styrofoam mould and the clay. So now I’m sitting here with the clay drawing in this beautiful tray that I created and I don’t know how to get the Styrofoam mould apart from the clay, any suggestions or is this just a wasted project and I should go back to the drawing board thank you for your help!

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It may dry and pop loose. If it's too stuck it will crack as it dries and shrinks but there's nothing much you can do about that now. Worth a try just letting it dry. Once it's firm enough you may be able to peel off the styrofoam. In the future, lay a piece of newspaper or paper towel between the clay and tray, or dust the clay with corn starch before putting it on the tray.

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How dry/firm was your clay? Are we talking about applying a firm-ish slab to a drape/press mould or building up wettish clay in some sort of "slip" mould?

If you abandon this first effort make sure you find out where & how it's sticking (e.g is it surface to surface or some sort of shape interlocking).

PS Googling pottery mold styrofoam turns up lots ideas to compare-and-contrast with your technique, for example
Using a Common Styrofoam Mold for a Platter, with Stoneware Slip over Kentucky Brown Bear Clay.
... a fairly arbitrary choice, the slab looks overdry to me but I cannot imagine it sticking in that mould.


Edited by PeterH
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