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Thread: Ceramic Molds, KilnS and more... Free :)

  1. #1

    Ceramic Molds, KilnS and more... Free :)

    I just want to say that I a very thankful and grateful for my life and my lifestyle. I try to help everyone I can and am thankful for all that I perceive.

    That fact is the bread by which I live...

    That being said, I made a great score this week and this is what I have been doing/dealing with...

    I got 2 kilns for FREE! I also got a bunch of ceramic molds from a different source for FREE as well...

    So now I have a whole pottery operation for FREE within a matter of days.

    So far I've cataloged over 60 molds weighing a total of 400 Kg and I'm about half way though...

    I also received 5 gal bucket of slip, 2 boxes of slip, a jar of red slip, more little random things than I can shake a stick at and more...

    These are the two kilns

    That's 400 Kg of Plaster!

    This is a GIANT Christmas tree mold...

    Anyone know about these kinds of molds?

    I'm hoping I can cast wax in them and then invest that!

    I look forward to your replies. Please browse the pics of the molds
    Last edited by GypsyTinker; 04-16-2012 at 05:02 AM.
    Knowing how to make something is far more valuable than knowing where to buy it...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bull's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    North West Coast
    Wow man, Nice Score!

    Those are some very nice looking molds. I know nothing about them, but they look cool as hell.
    He was wise man who invented beer - Plato

  3. #3
    I'm pretty sure those plaster molds are made for slip casting clay and porcelain. You could cast metal in them, but that would make them one time use only. With slip casting you pour a very liquid clay mixture into a plaster mold and within minutes the plaster sucks all the water out of the clay making it more solid and plastic. After a while the clay gets hard and it shrinks back from the mold allowing you to cleanly pull out a highly detailed clay sculpture.

    Here's a great video showing how slip casting is done.

    I'm not really sure you could use those molds for casting wax. Plaster is really porous, I imagine it would be really hard to get the wax to come out of the molds cleanly without sticking and leaving behind a lot of wax. Maybe you could use a mold release that can handle the temp of molten wax.
    Last edited by Lambda_drive; 04-16-2012 at 07:35 AM.

  4. #4
    That is a NICE score GT! Looks like some pretty high end stuff. How big are the bores of the kilns?


  5. #5
    Senior Member metalmelter2693's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    Blog Entries
    You should use those kilns as furnaces to melt aluminum, would make life much easier.
    What are you going to melt today?

    Go to and watch the burner videos. Please like, subscribe, and comment about the videos.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Buffalo, NY
    Holy crap! That has the potential to send you on a lot of new unexpected adventures. That seems to suit you to a tee. One thing Ive read that may be of interest is that clay residue can adversely affect silicone curing (if that's a direction you decide to go in). I'm not seeing much evidence of clay on those molds so they may not have been used for that purpose but it underscores the contamination point.

    How about the kilns? Good shape? Single phase?

    You scored big, Dude


  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Victoria, Australia
    Lambda-dv is right, some of those moulds are indeed used for slip casting. however i notice some of them are two part; these are generally used for press moulding where you roll a slab of clay and compress it between the two.
    one of the other things you can do with clay in plaster is to make a decrotive press pot. you make shapes such as spirals out of rolls of clay or blobs of different sizes press them all over the mould then blend everything you can see when you pull it out the pattern will be retained on the other side. It's a really easy way to make some very nice pieces!!

    Btw i'm so jealous of that, i've been trying to find a small electric kiln for ages however nothings come up under about 500 bucks :/ which i don't have lying around.

  8. #8
    Impressive collection!

    I agree with λ (lambda-drive) that those are slip casting molds. And use some castings as patterns for sand casting.
    I found that trying to find what I need and then make it work with what I have, is more trouble than designing what I want and doing it.

    "Quick decisions are unsafe decisions."

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Buffalo, NY
    The plaster molds I worked with years ago were made using placticene sculpture to be used for terra-cotta pieces. Architectural facade stuff. Those molds were multi-part like yours but the bottom had to be wide open so some guy with forearms like Popeye could pack and ram the terra-cot ta in. Yours were clearly not meant for that. Maybe the christmas tree one, but I can't see the bottom. I'd have to concur with L-D and others that they're slip-cast. Guess that explains all the slip, huh?


  10. #10
    Thanks for all the feedback guys! Thanks Lambda for the video too!

    @peetee - you are right about the "unexpected adventures" being my style Gotta learn a lot of new stuff too, I love it.

    The Kilns both are reported to be in working order. The small one is 120V, 10" diameter and 12" deep and the large kiln is 240V, 17.5" diameter and 18.5" deep. I've not plugged either one in yet, but I will

    I think they are all slip casting molds and I will try my hand at that, but what I really want to do is wax in these things... I'm going to look in to that... there has to be something I can cast in these that I can burn out.

    I gotta do a few other things for the next week or so though...Keep the feedback coming and check out the updated mold pics. Up to 100 molds now...
    Knowing how to make something is far more valuable than knowing where to buy it...

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