Big Ceramic Store Blog

The Easy Way To Make Hump Molds

Did you ever see a set of square plates, platters or bowls, that were the perfect shape, but... you'd like them in a different color, the price tag was a little steeper than your budget, or you were on vacation and didn't want to haul them five hundred miles?

You're a potter, right? So why can't you make them yourself? Oh, that's right, you haven't been able to find a hump mold that meets your needs.  You've got the clay and glazes you love, and you're pretty good at hand-building, but how do you get that shape?

It's simple, make your own hump mold! Plaster, water, a plastic or wooden bowl, and room on the table is all you need. Follow along for instructions.

Let's get started! Remember, this is just one way to make a hump mold. I've gotten creative and used cardboard, duct tape and wood blocks, to get the shapes I wanted.

  • Gather your supplies
    1. A bucket
    2. Clean water
    3. Plaster of Paris, or Potter's Plaster
    4. Spatula or other stirring instrument
    5. A bowl or platter in the shape you want                 
    6. Or, use your creativity, and make a shape that fits your personality.
  • Mix plaster according to directions.
  • For a personal touch, use glue or silicon, to draw a design on your mold. (make sure it's dry before you pour in the plaster)
  • Pour the plaster into the mold.


  • Allow it to set up well, then flip the mold over to take it out. Be sure to support the plaster so it doesn't hit the table and break.
  • Use a fine grit (120) sand paper, and sand the edges, and any imperfection.

Easy, right? Now let's go over how to use it.

  • Roll out a slab of clay, large enough to cover the mold, and drape over the sides a bit.
  • Trace a wide outline, leaving room for the drape.


  • Roll, stamp, carve or paint designs if you want.


  • Lift the clay on all sides, to make sure it's loose from the ware board, then cut it out.
  • Center the mold over the decorated slab.
  • Place a second ware board, or banding wheel, on top of the mold. I like to use a banding wheel when I flip it over.
  • Flip it over.
  • Using a roller or dowel, roll around the edges of the slab and press it against the mold to define the bottom.


  • After the form has dried enough to hold its shape, remove it from the hump mold.


  • Dry, bisque and glaze!

Use your imagination, to make a "signature" shape, or just the one you've wanted for a long time.

Do you have an idea or project you'd like to share, or would you like to try your hand at writing an article for us? Shoot us an e-mail at

Look for more great ideas on the "How-to" page of our website.


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