Molds for Clay, also known as Plaster Molds for Potters, Pottery Molds or Plaster Molds for Clay, are a necessary tool for sculpting or handbuilding clay to achieve shapes or designs that could not otherwise be accomplished with the pottery wheel. To assist the clay artist, Dogwood Ceramic Supply offers several different types of Molds for Clay. We use the simple name "Molds for Clay", because with the exception of the Press Molds, none of the Molds for Clay are practical to use for slip casting molds. All of the Molds for Clay are manufactured from #1 Pottery Plaster which allows the mold to allow for easy release of the ware following the mold's shaping, forming or decorating a simple slab of moist clay into a complex shape.
The Creative Paradise Handbuilding Molds are Dogwood Ceramic Supply's primary line of Molds for Clay. Creative Paradise is a traditional ceramic mold company, which was created when Janet and Ron Kimple retired at the end of 2000 and sold the assets of the Kimple Mold Company to a family member who started the Creative Paradise Mold Company. Creative Paradise has diversified and offers clay molds and tools for the potter, warm glass molds and supplies for the glass artist, as well as Creative Paradise's actively expanding line of ceramic molds.
The most common Pottery Mold is the Press Mold for Clay. Press Molds, also known as Sprig Molds for Clay, Open Pour Molds or one-piece casting molds, Magnet Molds or Jewelry Molds are all descriptions of the same basic mold design ... a simple, usually one piece mold manufactured from #1 pottery plaster with a design that is appropriate for slip casting or working with moist clay. Depending upon the purpose of the mold, the design (impression) can be highly detailed or very plain, the edges of the design may be smooth or detailed, and the depth of the design can be shallow or deep.
While all of the Press Molds for Clay may be slip cast with casting slips, the primary purpose of these molds is to be used with moist clay. The moist clay is depressed into the mold, the absorbent plaster evenly draws moisture from the clay body which limits cracking and sticking, and when the clay has dried to the leather hard stage the design is removed for further drying or attaching to other clay objects.
Dogwood Ceramic Supply stocks Press Molds for Clay from 3 unique mold manufacturers:
Creative Paradise has developed an entire line of sprig molds, specifically for
use with clay as pottery molds or press molds for clay. The depth of the design is perfect for adding the sprig (design) unto thrown or molded clay shapes as an
embellishment to clay projects, or for stand alone uses such as clay jewelry. Dogwood Ceramic Supply stocks the entire selection of Creative Paradise Sprig Molds.
The early Wagon Wheel Molds were designed as jewelry molds for either slip cast or pressing moist clay. Those Wagon Wheel Molds tended to be smaller, simpler designs usually with smooth edges that are ideal for ear rings, pendants and other jewelry uses OR larger designs ideal for slip casting. Wagon Wheel has significantly expanded their mold offerings to include a wide selection of mold designs ranging from one-piece casting molds to small and large sprig molds for the pottery. Dogwood Ceramic Supply stocks the largest selection of Wagon Wheel molds in the known universe.
Riverview Magnet Molds generally have a smoother or shallower edge. Ideally used as magnet molds or for ornaments, many of the Riverview Magnet Molds also make excellent press molds for working with moist clay. Riverview Magnet Molds are also ideal for use in the classroom for simple clay projects for young children. Dogwood Ceramic Supply offers a huge selection of Riverview Magnet Molds that appeal to many customers.
Slump and Hump Molds for Clay are large plaster molds used in forming moist clay into shapes which are consistent
in size and shape, or for making complex designs that could not be easily accomplished on the pottery wheel. These plaster molds for clay are collectively
called slump, hump or drape molds depending upon the design and purpose of the mold.
Convex plaster forms are known as "hump molds" or "drape molds", while concave plaster forms are known as "slump molds". The difference between a hump mold and a drape mold is the degree of slope of the shape. Drape molds have a shallower slope than hump molds.
To select between a hump and a slump mold of the same shape, the artist must decide whether access to the inside surface (available with a slump) or the outside surface (available with a hump or drape) is most important. Drape or Hump molds give the advantage of adding feet and handles to the outer surface of the piece in addition to decorating the outer surface. One must be sure to remove drying clay from a hump mold precisely at the leather-hard stage due to potential cracks from shrinkage strain. Slump molds allow the clay piece to dry in the mold with a limited risk of cracking because the clay is able to shrink away from the plaster wall without the physical restrictions present in the hump.
Creative Paradise, offers an extensive line of Slumps, Humps and Drape Molds specifically for use with moist clay. There are 10 Slump Molds for Clay, 9 Hump Molds for Clay, 7 Drape Molds for Clay plus 11 Combination Slump and Hump Molds for Clay. The combination Slump and Hump mold developed by Creative Paradise (both the slump and the mirror image hump are sold as a complete set) is perfect for the classroom and ideal for ease of shipping to the customer.
Texture Molds for Clay, also known as textured slab molds, are detailed one piece plaster slabs that have the texture detail across the entire face of the mold. Slabs of moist clay are pressed against the textured surface, thus transferring the details from the mold to the moist clay. The detailed slabs of clay are assembled or attached to other clay objects.
Creative Paradise has an extensive line of Textured Molds for Clay with 18 different designs and counting. Most of the Creative Paradise Textured Molds for Clay are approximately 12" x 12" in size, which is useful for working with larger slabs of clay or overlaying the repeating design.
The Clay Stamps manufactured by Creative Paradise, are also known as ceramic stamps because the stamp material is actually fired earthenware (ceramic) clay. Clay Stamps are designed to press complex designs into leather hard clay surfaces. Manufacturing the Clay Stamp out of ceramic clay is actually preferred over a metal or rubber stamp as the ceramic clay does not readily stick to the moist clay like metal stamps and is much stiffer than any rubber material resulting in cleaner imprints of the design. Clay Stamps are in sets of 3 individual clay stamps of a specific theme and are approximately 1" in size. Clay Stamps are especially ideal for classroom because the simple design encourages use by children.
Dogwood Ceramic Supply is an award winning Creative Paradise Distributor and actively stocks the Creative Paradise Handbuilding Molds for sale to schools and active studios as well as the hobby and professional potter.
Important note: It has been often suggested that the Molds for Clay should be made from a lighter weight or more durable material than Pottery Plaster. While that suggestion does have some merit (especially with regards to shipping costs) and there are manufacturers (especially Chinese imported goods) who have shifted their Molds for Clay to rubber or light weight metals, there are also serious advantages in using Pottery Plaster for the Molds for Clay, specifically that the Pottery Plaster is able to absorb substantial quantities of water from the moist clay. Absorbing water from the moist clay is a crucial function of any mold as it decreases the set up time of the moist clay, and in turn, as the water is absorbed from the moist clay, the moist clay is easily released from the mold which results in a better quality product for the user. The downside to Pottery Plaster is the durability of the mold and of course the shipping weight. Alas, sometimes the best product is not the cheapest product.
website last updated: October 2014
Dogwood Ceramic Supply
12590 Dedeaux Road
Gulfport Mississippi, 39503
Telephone (228) 831-4848 Fax (228) 831-3111
Showroom Business Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday 10AM to 5PM
Thursday 1PM to 6PM
Closed Wednesday and Sunday