Slip-casting is a completely separate department of the pottery, which I run. Another part of being the Pottery Slave! When the casts come out of the moulds, the items are left, tidied by fettling (trimming the seams and any excess clay} then left to completely dry out before they have their first firing. This is always a fraught time for me. Will the batch be OK, could one or two crack, were the moulded pieces dry enough? If not properly dried I find out when the kiln has cooled and the magic of the opening door reveals all. Mostly I get things right. The items are then left to thoroughly cool and later Geraldine glazes them. Another fraught time with the next higher firing. Will the colours come out as we wanted them?
As one batch is being dried, another fired, the actual plaster moulds have to be dried and the bands which secure them checked and often replaced. The most popular items I make are the frogs and toads. These sell very well, in fact I think I have now sold out and must get down to doing more. Some are large, others medium and some small. Many of the small ones are glazed pink (yes a pink frog – have you ever seen one!). Little girls love these especially and give them names – from ‘Frog’ to ‘Clarabelle’
My favourite of all I make is a ‘knight’ chess piece. I glaze him in a blue oxide and then wipe much of the oxide off. This means he is not ‘shiny’ but mat, the remaining blue just faintly highlighting him. A batch of these went to a castle open to the public and they were sold as souvenirs. Some have also gone to the USA. Nice chatting to you!