Frequently Asked Questions
How do i care for the forms?
Our forms are made of wood. If you use them well they will last a long time. Be sure to dry the forms between each use. The time to make your piece is the same time as working with a plaster mould. If you wait to long the clay will rip, the forms will remain wet and start to grow fungus. If by any chance something went wrong and you see black spots, try to remove them with a damp cloth with some detergent. If the edges become to rough , use some fine sandpapier to smoothen them.
What are the forms made of?
We are very proud of the fact that we only use the best wood quality. It took us more than 1 year to find the wood that is in accordance with the EU and USA regulations for emissions.
Our forms are made of a high quality mdf. This makes that can can be used over and over again. Be sure to dry the forms between each use. The time to make your piece is the same time as working with a plaster mould. If you wait to long the clay will rip, the forms will remain wet and start to grow fungus. If by any chance something went wrong and you see black spots, try to remove them with a damp cloth with some detergent. If the edges become to rough , use some fine sandpapier to smoothen them.
De beveled edge of the board makes that they are durable and economical. They can be used over and over again and give you the tool to make your personalised objects. The shapes are designed shallow so that they are versatile in use, with some of the shapes stackable. This way you can create many models with a small number of shapes.
How to prevent warping / deformation. The way to work:
- Walk your clay
Clay has a memory. Be sure to walk your clay thourougly to remove this memory and to increase the plasticity.
- Clay slab.
Make a slab of clay with your slab roller or a rolling pin and some sticks
In the meantime, regularly turn the clay plate a quarter turn so that the clay is not always stretched in the same direction. This prevents warping. Use a smooth cloth that you place under the clay so that the clay plate is easier to lift when it is still very wet (eg an old sheet).
- Let it rest
Place the clay plate on a wooden, preferably unpainted wooden plank (moisture-resistant glued plywood plate works best). The duration depends on the conditions such as temperature and humidity, and of course the condition of the clay. I sometimes let the clay rest for 20/30 minutes, but with very wet clay this can take up to 2 to 3 hours.
Use a rib to add compression on the clay slab. Preferably in different directions. This helps to prevent warping. Turn your slab around and do this also for the other surface
- Texture / Structure
This is the moment to determine if you want to add some structure. Perhaps you have an old dolly from your granny, or a roler with some structure, or things from nature.
- Drape and Shape
Drape your clay slab with the structure down over the form. Gently press the clay towards the form to remove all folds and air.
Use a soft rubber rim to make your plate and bowl. Work as much as possible form the outside of the plate towards the form to get as much clay as possible on the edge of the form
- Foot / ring
Use our footmaker to make 2 equal strips of clay. Score the plate / the bowl and the foot / ring and attach it with water or slip. Plates and bowls lager than 9,5 inch (approx 24 cm) get mutiple feet a dubble ring to prevent it from warping.
Use the modeling tool to clean the edges of the foot.
If you have a rim template, you can use a clay harp or a needle to guide it on the edge of the rim template. If you do not have a rim template you can form the rim manually.
- Beveled edge / rim
A lot of people like it when the rim of the plate is a little beveled. To achieve this effect, let your plate rest for a while, remove the rim template, place the plate on a spacer and gently press the rim downwards.
Our forms have a beveled edge. They are designed in such a way that you can leave the clay on your work without being torn very fast. The drying clay will pull upwards automatically. Wait for your clay to go to a leatherhard stage. no need to force, it will detach from the form easily
If your clay is leatherhard, it can be removed from the form. If your piece deforms when it is lifted, you removed it to fast, it is not dry enough. We learned that removing it to fast is the main reason for warping and deforming. If the clay tears, you waited to long. Everybody who is working with clay knows how difficult it can be to "catch" the right moment, but removing the form at the right time can not be underestimated.
Make sure that your work is not to close to a heater or fan, draft and the use of a blow dryer are a no go, do not place it directly in the sun (behind glass).
The total drying time is depending on the cercomstances and can be between 2 to 8 hours.
Even drying is very important. Placing it under plastic can sometimes cause uneven drying.
- The finishing touch
Remove the form and place your pleace the right way up. Gently press the middle of the plate to remove any occuring bulging. Use the surforms to straighten en smooth the edges and rims. Use the inside of the special rounding rib to change the rims to a smooth round edge. You can also use a sponge, but try to avoid to mucht water.
Now is the time to use and underglaze or to carve your clay.
- Bone Dry
Let your work dry evenly until it is bone dry and fit for bisque firing. I use a very small greenhouse with open rackts (no wood boards!) and I never use any plastic bags.
- Kiln loading
Do not let dishes protrude over the edge of the kiln plate (the airflow along the side is higher than in the center of the kiln plate and the rim of your plate or tray may warp)
Do not go to a high temperature too fast. Take your time.
Do not cool too fast. When you have very large pieces a slow cool down is advised.
In clay there is the general rule; take your time, do not rush!
How is the measurement determined?
De measurement is detemined by the largest size of the form itself. The standard depth is 10 mm. A deeper form can be achieved with stacking. Check out our webshop for the stacking possibilities.
We advise not to glue the forms. If you want forms to be very deep we advise you to use the plaster forms.
Our thin series are 12 mm deep.
How do I prevent "seams" if I want to make deeper bowls?
Regretably this can not be avoided. Because of the way that we stack the forms there will always be some seams. It is very simple to remove them in the leatherhard phase using a steainless steal rib .
My foot tears how can I prevent this?
Our experience learns that there are 2 main reasons for the foot to tear.
The first is that the piece is not dry enough for bisque firing. Make sure your work is completely bone dry before you bisque.
The second reason is when the foot / ring that is attached to the plate is dryer or wetter than the plate or bowl. This causes fraction between the foot and the plate causing it to crack or tear.
It is imporant to make sure that the foot and your piece have the same consistency and the same amount of water to increase the attachment. Make sure you have enough scratches on both the plate and the foot and use water or slip for attachment.
Can you deliver outside Europe?
Yes we can! In principle we can delivery over the entire world. If your country is not listed, please contact us at your convinience.
Is your question or answer not on your list?
Mail us at Potteryformseurope@gmail.com