Big Ceramic Store Blog

Using Styrofoam Floral Rings As A Slump Mold

Ok... so I was at a local Dollar store and in the mood for a change. I saw Styrofoam floral rings hanging on display and thought... "They would work as a slump mold for making plates, platters, and bowls." So I picked up a couple and headed back to the studio.

I don't know about you but I'm all about easy options for making larger pieces. That's one reason I love using Styrofoam floral rings, the other reason is they are light, durable, and easy to store on a peg, taking up less of my shelf space!

Let's head to the studio and I will show you just how easy it is to make a plate without a lot of fuss!The first step is to roll out a piece of clay that is large enough to accommodate the size of your ring. Remember, leave plenty of space around the ring so you can get a nice shape and lip.

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Lay the clay over the ring and shape the belly of the plate by using a damp sponge and lightly pressing the clay in the center of the ring.

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For the next step, I used a large plastic bowl as a template to cut out my plate, however; you can use almost anything... cardboard, wheel bat, bucket... etc...

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After you have the primary form cut out and shaped, use a damp sponge to clean up the outside edge all the way around.

Here comes the FUN part... decorate your plate!!!

I have a sunflower thingy, not sure exactly what it's purpose is, that I picked up at my local hardware store.  I use it a lot for designing.

For this plate, I laid it on the surface and applied just enough pressure to cause an impression. Making sure to go around the outside edge, I pressed it into the clay and left it there for most of my design process.

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*Using a black underglaze, I covered the entire surface of the plate with three coats, allowing it to dry between each.

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*Once all the black was dry, I used various other colors of underglaze to create a floral pattern by sweeping my brush from the center outward.

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*When I was done with all my colors, it was time to remove the sunflower and "pretty it up" for a focal point. Reds were my color choice... I'm not sure why, it just felt right.

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The only thing left is to let it dry, bisque fire it, then add a zinc-free clear glaze and do the final firing. I will update pictures when it comes out of the kiln!

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