Press mold for ceramics | Pau Stephens | Skillshare
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8 Lessons (43m)
    • 1. Introduction to the class

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Making the Model

    • 4. Preparation of the model

    • 5. Making the mold part 1

    • 6. Making the mold part 2

    • 7. Using our mold part 1

    • 8. Using our mold part 2 and conclusions

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About This Class

In this class you are going to learn how to make a plaster mold for reproducing simple shapes with the press molding technique.  

With this technique we use a slab of clay and manipulate it with the help of a mold to get a desired shape. 

This technique is faster than the slip casting technique and it works great if what you need is a simple shape that you can later fix and add details.


Meet Your Teacher

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Pau Stephens

Mexican Monster Maker


Hi, my name is Pau and Im a Mexican monster maker.

I studied Industrial design at IED Madrid and after graduating in 2012 I started inquiring in the ceramic world, first producing my own projects and after manufacturing for other people.

I moved to Poland early in 2017 and started pursuing my artistic career making ceramic sculptures and experimenting more with shape and materials.

Currently I live in Bielefeld, Germany with my family. 

If you want to see more of my work please feel free to visit my web and my Instagram for more work in progress!

See full profile

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1. Introduction to the class: Hi, my name is most events and today I'm going to be teaching you how to make a plaster mold for The Press technique. I'm going to ensure how it's called this technique because it can give me you brought us lab and you put it inside the mall. And with that, you can make reproduction is really fast and really simple. They are not exactly production. So depending on what do you want to do, you should check if this techniques works for you. But I like to use it, for example, to make sculptures. So I make a cut basic shape, and then with this mosaic and make a little like five or ten of the same sculpture. And then I can add the little details that make each sculpture of different. Also with this technique, I made these cups and these little parts. So basically I would like the same shade of atom will be details that make each shape different. So as honest a technique really helpful, it you need to do reproductions fast. If you don't need them to be like really exact or brief respite from the, from the insight. And you don't need like that much detail. If you think that this technique and refer, you, follow me and let's watch the next lessons. 2. Materials: Okay, so for this class we're going to need clay like normal or modelling plate. This. While these ones, I don't even know what to call them. But these ones are made from recycled in lives that I took from ice cream. So basically it's like a hard plastic that I cut to make the walls to the, by the model. So we cannot the plaster. So this will have sense soon. But basically what you need is something that is theme, but thick enough so that you, so when you put a cluster, it doesn't bend and move the shape. But among items on other material that I couldn't get this time because of the log down. But it's more practical Anika washer and, and you can reuse it and it's really cool to hover around the workshop just in case you want to do one more of these modes becomes really handy. And last but not least, we're going to need bluster. In this case. We don't need a special cluster for the slip casting technique. We need a special cluster that absorbs really good water and has like more detail into it and everything. But in this case, in this type of molds, we just need the molecule cluster. Then you can find in these hardware shops like in here in Germany, it's called OB. But Home Depot mode and little me lean. This type of shrubs that are maybe non-normal hardware shop. So this is not the construction bluster. This is more like a Theme, laughter that normally is used for fixing some walls in the interior before you paint or this type of things. So don't use the construction plaster because that is where your rough and it's not going to cope with all the detailing is not going to work for us, is more likely modelling cluster. Then you can find in the hardware shops to feel cracks in these type of things. So now we have all our materials. Let's go to the next lesson. 3. Making the Model: Okay, so now the first thing that we need is our model. The model is the thing they shade that we want to reproduce multiple times. And then World War I really recommend in this case I do use clay. You can even use like Play-Doh and do use this because in this type of moles, it doesn't matter. If we lose the model lag, actually we're going to lose it. And this type of moles were really well when it's only one piece or two pieces. So you cannot reproduce like really complicated shapes, a lot of corners or details, because it's going to be tricky to release it. But it's really good for like basic shapes like bowls or shades that you can cut in half, in half like symmetrical, symmetrical piece or design. So what I'd like to do for this part is that I like to make a sketch of my idea. In this case, I'm going to make one of my monsters, but like a basic shape of a monster. So I will show you one of you can see both. And we'll show you in a second. So it's one of my basic shapes. From here I will get the mall part. And what I like about these is that the net cannot be those like the warns, the hands and different positions. If I were to put a tail or remove a tail in, all of it is coming out from this part. And this one, as you can see, is symmetrical. So the more will be like from the top and the back because the only part that needs like that, it's tricky, selects the rest. I will try to make a symmetrical as possible. So I'm going to do now these wood clay. And then I will show you how to do a mall with that. So with this, it doesn't matter if you graphically like the way it is like a block of clay and you start modelling your shape. It's good because it's not going to the kilonewton going to explode. So that's okay. But yeah, just be careful that it's not a really complicated piece because they've got to be really difficult to remove from the, from the mold. So to give you an example, for example, something like this could go in there in their mode, but without a tail and with other spikes. So this one works if you perfectly, you do like this half and this half. So basically it will go like do these two parts. So that's why you have to think about if you are designing your peace and order model, that it cannot be like super complicated because you have to be able to remove 1.5 and the other. So now the thing about this technique like it limits you in the type of shape that you can make. It's better to do a simple one, basic shape that you use. Do multiple times. This is how the model is going to look. So you can get an idea, is 1.5, this is the other half. So with this model I made, with this small, I make this plot. So now you can see that there's like Tom reduction in there. So it looks smaller. And basically what I did is like just the basic shape. And then I just added the tail and the little dots that are about here and the little belly button. And that's how I might use this more for like just to make basic shapes, basic bots. So instead of me constructing like the whole thing from scratch, I just use this mode. Okay, so let's get started with our design. I will make my piece. Then. We will see each other to show you how you make the actual mode. Okay, so now we're done with our model, and now it's time to order the workshop and start with our plaster molds. 4. Preparation of the model : Okay, so now I'm in the workshop. This is where I do the dirty part and I have my model. Yeah. Like a board. And so whatever you have, just a model in on top, do all the mess. I also have my plastic things that I told you about. And the cluster, the modelling plaster and our book, good, book it for making the gimmicks. So what I'm going to do now, I can first ease in my model for the clustering is I got last time to check let, if there's anything that could get stuck. Or in this case in this particular model. This is a tricky area, like here, the logic and memory stock. So we have to be really careful with that. And now that our, the monster is writing or our piece, we're going to make a line to know where exactly is the half. So in my case is shape. This is like a front. So one part is going to be like this and the other particle to be like this. So I will draw like a lamb to see exactly where I want to cut in half. Okay? And if you notice this, the moral is still wet. So the clay is still like manipulable. And in that because we need to stick this into the piece to make the wall. So this is going to help us to divide the part that we want to book laterally by now. We don't want the plateau right now. And now will actually take this one here. Is one here. And I'm building the wall with the things you've measured just to get rid of well, will not fall one cluster. Okay? I have my role really wants to look exactly on the half and C. So then we're gonna get started with the bluster and pouring the first half. 5. Making the mold part 1: So now if we put bread that cluster, I removed a little bit of water like this is a small piece so I don't need that much Lie group early, if anything, the light till here, I don't know. I just do it like also the one who I don't know. There was aided Spanish series that I kind of, but in my head how it is like there's people that have special formulas, but I don't do that. And then normally my instinct is really its right. So I will do that now. First you have to put the water in order to prepare the plaster. And then I will show you what's next. Okay, so now I have my ordering a book in my pocket. Now how? Now some watering my bucket and that we're supporting the Cluster II. So the way these works at Duke Leto water, do don't move a legislator water there and start pouring little by little, the cluster around the bucket. 200 mega little mountain. So when you have the mountain, I get little tip of the iceberg. That's when you start mixing it does when you know that it's ready to pour it. So don't start mixing it before the mountain, okay? And the mountain has to be a little bit big. So I will show you now how I do it. Gets, so this is the book and we'll just put like a little bit as you can see. And I will start pouring my foster inside and circles. I do like not the mounting is going to become very fast. So you've got to be spreading around the clusters on just reading one side, we have to go around in circles. And now I have like, kind of like a mountain. I would put more. So because if you leave it alone, that's a good experiment. I just don't move it. And then you will see the montane still survives. It's okay. But then we put a little bit more just in case it doesn't hurt. And now I will start shaking it. And it's just like yeah, like in a shape of an eight, you're not like Initiative of an aid. You start mixing it. And when this type of moles, what we need like with their sleep Kathy moles, we need the latter Debian, basically liquid when it wordings either box. But in this case, we needed to be a little bit thick. So it's like putting like butter cream indicate the lower at the beginning is going to be more liquidity. Liquidity side within us. Wait a little bit. And when you start to get more like Stiff were thick, you start pouring it. Now I will show you. What we're going to do now is we're going to do the first part. Now what will let it dry? And it has another word. But of course I don't know it. Well, when it gets hard, when the buffer gets higher, we're going to fix the first part of the mall and they were going to the second half. Okay, so when it starts together with a thicker, you can start doing some of that cluster starting from the wall. So first we're going to start putting here in this area. And then the rest. And when it gets decremented, girls start beginning lumps of, of cluster. Also, there's a moment that you just like getting harder and harder and harder. So you have to be like really fast. So don't get overconfident of all, this is really neat when recollect the liquid part is good for modeling better details. And in this particular case, we have to be really careful with the bottom so that we don't use like under the bidding. Know what? I'm going to put one of the plastics here because it's coming out. So let's see if I can do that somehow. You know what I mean? Like under the less I have to put also like a plastic that comes like in blocks, have the links. So that I forgot to do of course. No realizing that it's too late, but and we'll fix it later. So now we're getting more thick. And you can see the bottom I will have to fix later and be sure to coordinate you have will be a moment that I would like just get really hard. So you just don't stop doing this. This is already getting like decides the size are really important. Ones are that close to the customer? And now I have to wait till it dries like really hard. And we will have our first half wash the bucket now. And we're going to get washed above it, wash my hands in, wait for it to get rehired in, then we'll see each other again. 6. Making the mold part 2: Okay, so now I'm going to remove, I mean, this is hard enough I think. And then it's going to remove this thing is you'd like or not like these Legos over the phone, the back. You can be tricky. Yelling. This is how it looks now. That's an air bubbles there. And where we're going to do now is to fix like digital corners with pressing because it has like a holder. So now we need to kind of like make it flat again. So they'd plaster dosing. Cluster doesn't come in. That little hole leader. So not only were they slip casting moles, what we do is we have to take out the model because you need to know if it's coming out really good. And then you put it back in. And that's why you need the model to be really well like durable and hard resistance. But in this case, we are going to lose the model. So now it's going to be trapped in them all. And then the mirror until it was, is really flexible so you can get it out like each other and you would expect, I forgot to mention that we also need this release agent, but it's basically like soap. Now remove the edges that we already know. So using like are these one, you see something like that and if you like, the plaster is going to get stopped there. Yes, removing the edges so that lesser doesn't get stuck in here, for example, you have to feel with clay or something. Because also the potter who get in and you will get stuck. So you have to think about those little details of life. Not getting the the clustering in a way that you will be able to remove that. Clean your model. Now I need to get some grain of filling these gaps. Okay? My movies like fix a beautiful. I will make the little teeth like the little holes. Now I want to check this part. So what I will do know that there's my little mistake because this should be like in the half also, although it up. So now I will fill it with clay. And then when the other side is ready to part already, I will refill it with a little bit of cluster wherever the claim. So then I began to see what the cluster should be all the way there. It's not because it's. So now for the other half, I will put my release agent, my soap in the plaster. It goes, we don't want the duties of cluster gets stuck together and something else that happens. So with this I would just put a little bit ligand regime regime. So now I'm going to clean this mess, going the bucket of water prepared, they mix, they repeat the process. Okay. So now I have my second part grade. Now will it get hard? I would open remove the thing from the inside. It will be lost, of course, but doesn't matter and they never leave it to dry for about a week. And what the model is completely dry, we're ready to start making our reproductions. So see you in the next one. 7. Using our mold part 1: Okay, so once we open, are all removed the model from the inside and save it somewhere else. There, leftover clay. You can save it were only for using it forum, an older model or things that are not going to acute because it's already contaminated with the bluster. So that's an interesting point to take in consideration. When you remove a inside and let it dry for a few days or weeks depending on how long it takes for your mole decides whether an obvious things I already mentioned before. In once it's really dry. Again. We're gonna go to the next step that is basically putting the clay inside our mode. So for the second step or third or I don't know what's deputies lose count on what the step is this. But for the next step, what we're going to need is our dram Wald. I'm going to remove a little bit from this lip doors from these and I have to clean it. We also need a borrower, Dina, That is musically the the same claim that you have a drain, clean the leftovers of the clay that you have. You just put watering them and you get something like this. So it is like the glue that we use for for clay. So it's like basically the slip is the same, same thing. With a ruler. I recommend to have like two sticks. And this is five millimeter thickness. And these are going to help us define the thickness of our clean. One of these can be really handy for cutting the clay. And of course when it declared. So in this case, my claim here we're hearing and in the way that I save it like if covered with like yeah, like this material, I don't know how to call it. And then I put water. So these have been sitting here for a long time. You saved are playing for like months. And you see like it has like these, like fungi or whatever, it doesn't really matter. Actually. They say that that's good for the place, so it doesn't really matter. This is the way that MacLean looks. Right now. I will use this to cut a little piece and then I will put it here. To do that, you get it like bigger than you expected to be. So in this case, I wanted it to be like a five millimeters. So linear. So I place my wood sticks here. I guess start ruling. There are some special machines that can do these neg faster, but I don't have that one now. So this is like the most rudimentary way of doing it. But also to do sometimes is changed directions. So for example, let's remember the Medina surveys. Like this is wood. So it's not like, it's not like a varnish and what is more like a nozzle wall so it doesn't get stuck to the table. So there's wood, plastic or crystal tables of this things. It will get stuck. So I recommend something like more, yeah, like this table for example, something like this material to put underneath. So you can rollover your claim. Okay? So I think that our K is reef. Before I go to the next step, I have to clean my mood because actually I forgot to do that in the plans and for getting me. So I will do it with a wet sponge just to remove this excess of like Play that I have inside as a white spot all over your Mall and remove also the access of cluster that it has likely put fall actually here have all the luster on my table. I will clean it because I don't want to contaminate my plate with the cluster. So I tried to remove all the pieces are like Pauline mold or wherever and clean them before they get into contact with the plate. Okay, so now that I have my queen and Macleay ready, I will start the next part of the process and that is basically you have, so I'm currently silhouette that i need. So you can see the shape is what I want to feel. Something like this. And I will put the first half like this. Some are if it breaks or if it's looking funny. The first time it gets, it feels really tricky to it, but then you will start understanding them all and what is the best way to do it. So I'm pushing, try not to struggle a lot. But also it doesn't really matter if there's like a little variation of thickness will cut. Not exactly logging the border, but more like leaving a little bit of clay. There's going to be like a holding the legs. In the case of this piece here embedded like another mistake. So you can grab more and put it in case you feel like it's too thin or something, doesn't matter. You can put some patches here. And now when we do the second part and we repeat the same process, so this is leftover. And I'm also going to make a different example with another one that I have to show you different possibilities. And then what we're gonna do is to make the little cuts around these edges and add our sleep, you know, magazine. So you keep some broader. I, I like to use my fingers. And then what we wanna do, put them both together. And to really press. To be honest, this technique is also, it's better from older, a little bit more open so you can actually unified in the center. So for example, I will show you an hour, whatever we wanna do. For example. For example, this one. I will show you that because it's open. You can't read your hand, you can do it from the inside. So little bit more tricky when it's closed like this one. But the gusto do it. Whatever I can say. Cool thing about this technique is that you don't have to wait that much. So I think that we could actually try to open this one and see how it is. To first breath, make sure that everything is good. Then to take it out and see what happens. Okay? And what is global? So of course you still have to fix some details, but you have your basic shape. And he was fast. And I will take it completely out of the mall. We have it. Okay. So the next step of course, is to fix this. Would salt still me? I will leave it a little bit to get a little bit harder extending up somewhere. Now let's do that. I will leave this to get a little bit more hard. And here we're going to fix it. So meanwhile, I will show you. 8. Using our mold part 2 and conclusions: Okay, let's do it all over again. But now I will do this is one. So this one actually I wanted to show you, I made these ones, this cups. So they come all from this basic bowl. And later, later I added like this thing and just make the little holes. In this case later, I added the lyrics and the tail. So there's a lot of possibilities. Possibility. So you'd make a lot and then you just personalize them. And the same with this little guy like arms, I will put like bellybutton. I'd would like different things coming out of it. And maybe I have 500 the same time and then I just personalize them. So that's the cool thing about this technique. Here we can see an air bubble that is here. Here, it's an air bubble. And what I do is, I guess and it should go. So I claim reading doesn't have to do it. Well, this one has like this and distinct and icon that I call it like this thing for the name, for the glaze. So what you have to lose like press down in order to avoid like this. Yeah, this, whatever. You are. Just like to make it more even from the inside. You kinda always cheat. Or no. I note. Okay. And as we did before, I will make a little cause and the news lush sleep. The same thing. We put them together. And in this case, what I will start doing is fixing it from the inside. So I will end up something like this and start to put them together. And if you feel like it's missing something horrible that you can still grab, like a little bit of more clay from the inside. Basically you just have to make it work. And now it's down. Comes out really easily. Upside down until it dress a little bit to show you how can you do a little bit solved. So I will not give security looks really in a soft enough that you can read your finger. Make it look a little bit better. In this part that looks like cracked. Like the valley for example. You can launch still your hand, erase those little marks. So with the leftover that I have from before, I can start fixing this little monster. But it needs some retouching. But at the end, I feel like it's faster than doing it all over again from scratch. There is also like a soft version of this tool that you can Ben, I don't have it right now. But I can really hunting for like the shapes for like the curves on these type of things. And then in this case, for example, I will add some, you know, right now. But I could add some horns or the arms. And just like the eyes in the belly button. And you can just play around with your piece. Like the idea of this is that you can use it for making like the basic shape and then d just like at the final touches on. So when it's dry with that with sponge, you can fix some of the little details that it has. These you kind of got like the main idea of how this technique works and just fixing like the little details still really soft so I will not do it right now. Show you, for example. This one was also made like the same. And I have also another wall that is this one is like the same idea but with two legs. And when that one, I may, we'll show you. So with this, I made this piece was really handy technique. So I really hope that you enjoy this class and you find it useful than to learn something new, a new technique to apply to your ceramic designs. If you find this class useful, please give it a thumbs up or rainy or putting a review or if you have a project that you can share, it will be amazing to seeding a predict section and any questions that you may have known today to ask. So hope to see you in the next one. Ciao.