“I was wondering why you have a carton of eggs on the ground!” said a fellow housemate while I was out back in the yard with a camera around my neck ready to photograph the above. I shall explain in detail below:
Hello everyone! Today I want to share with you a project (or part of a project I might say) that I have been working on as part of my Introduction to Ceramics course at uni. I said ‘part of a project’ only because it is actually one of the processes that my tutor demonstrated and talked about in one of our tutorials – and that process is called Slipcasting.
Slipcasting is basically a mass-production technique used in pottery especially for shapes that are not easily made on the wheel. Liquid clay (known as slip) is poured into a plaster mould and then removed one the clay is set solid. For a hollow piece, the liquid is poured out of the mould once the plaster has absorbed most of the liquid from the outer layer of the clay.
Our tutor also showed us how we can dip porous objects into slip. She demonstrated by dipping a sponge into the slip, had it fired and the result was just amazing. Basically what happens is that when the slipped object goes into the kiln at mid-fire glaze, the object burns out from the high temperatures and leaves the outer shell of the object. So you can imagine how a sponge turned out, it was so fragile and aesthetically beautiful as well.
So that’s what I did here, I completely submerged an egg carton in slip and let it to dry. I then did another coat of slip because the first layer started to crack while it was drying. I had the carton fired and it came out looking really great! I then applied layers and layers of oxide glazes (cobalt, chrome and china blue) and dipped the whole carton in a clear glaze. It was then fired again and this was the result:
I got the initial idea of slipcasting an egg carton through images I saw online while searching for inspiration for the first project for my ceramics course (which is ‘botanica’, basically nature-inspired). I saw images of egg cartons being used as planters, as well as pot holders for eggshell pots. So decided, why not make a permanent egg carton holder?
As you can see from the image above, the eggs don’t quite nicely sit in the hole. This is because when objects get fired in the kiln they tend to shrink a bit (and I’m guessing the two layers of slip ate a bit of space too). So my extra large eggs that I originally had saved could not fit at all, I had to buy new eggs that were smaller in size just so they could kind-of fit.
Hope you enjoyed reading and viewing this post. Please stayed tuned as well for when I actually finish making what I am supposed to make for my Botanica project. I will be making a set of plates inspired by water lilies and lily pads! The second project for this course is to make a vessel and I was thinking of stemming from project 1 and creating a centrepiece to tie the whole project together. So yes, look out for that in the next month and a half!
– Ally xx