Making and utilizing a bisque template for press forming


Knowledge from

Bisque template

That is an incredibly good software for the speedily production of slabbed dishes. The functionality to acquire outlandish and thrilling shapes is rarely ever-ending, giving you a possibility to assemble your occupy signature differ of wares

You may maybe need:

Clay – any form will work as this would maybe even just only be fired to a low bisque

Foam sheets

Reducing instruments – knife/scissors

Rolling pin

10mm thick curler guides

Plastic sheet

Absorbent board

Decrease out the outline shape of your dish from a sheet of foam.

Strive drawing some rough outlines on paper first, to acquire a shape you adore, then plan half the outline on a folded sheet of paper. Decrease all the intention thru the drawn outline then launch out the paper to tag a ponder image of the shape. You may maybe be ready to manufacture this freehand or in a more measured and deliberate intention – these particulars will acquire the shape outlandish to you.

Transfer the outline to the foam sheet and reduce relief it out. Foam is tougher-wearing than paper, so that you just’ll be ready to utilize this outline template for years.


Using thick, 10mm curler guides, roll out a slab of clay on a sheet of plastic to the approximate shape of your template.

The slab wants to be thicker than habitual since you’ll be making utilize of appreciable stress need to you exercise the template to acquire your dishes later, so it wants to be sturdy.

Soft over the surface of the slab with a rib to compact the clay.

Location the template on the rolled slab and extremely carefully reduce relief spherical it utilizing a fascinating knife.

Turn the template over onto an absorbent board and elevate away the plastic sheet.

Soft over the surface of the template all but again with a rib to compact the clay – this is terribly fundamental if the clay’s intently grogged.

Roll a thick coil of clay – 30mm diameter minimum. Withhold the coil spherical by twisting it periodically as you roll it – this would maybe even just additionally give it added strength.

Location the coil on the foam template so as that it runs alongside the dimension on the centre, then reduce relief it to dimension, 10mm fast of every end.

Opt the coil off the foam then tumble it onto the work surface so as that it flattens alongside one aspect, as confirmed. It be fundamental to be cautious to preserve the coil straight as you manufacture this.

The coil will develop a contend with for the template, nonetheless to acquire it easy to grip, acquire a lengthy groove alongside the dimension of both aspect. Moist your finger and thumb then, starting at one end, pinch the clay and preserve the placement as you plan alongside the dimension of the coil. You may maybe must repeat this several instances, nonetheless you’ll know when it’s lawful because your fingers and thumbs will fit the grooves without peril, for factual decide.

Location the coil on the clay slab alongside the dimension and rate the placement with a pin.


Gain the marked location on the template and the flat underside of the coil contend with.

Practice bound to the scored surfaces then fix the contend with in location.


Whereas you’re obvious the contend with is catch, elevate away extra bound with a modelling software or rib. Exhaust some time neatening up – although this is appropriate a software, it is restful a work of art work and deserves to be finished off to the ideal regular in all probability. This may maybe maybe even just additionally closing great longer if it’s well-made.


Decrease the ends of the coil at an attitude to present a elevate to the shape and elevate away fascinating edges.

Whereas you get to bear to acquire the template your occupy, you may maybe maybe maybe provoke your maker’s trace or a runt component in the angled end to preserve out, nonetheless this is completely optional.


The template is now finished. Enable it to dry very slowly, preferably on a wire rack to enable a free waft of air all the intention thru the clay as it dries to atomize warping OR weight it down with blocks of wood, as confirmed here, with a heavier weight on high.


When dry, low bisque-fireside the template to 960ºC. This may maybe acquire it absorbent ample to atomize it sticking to the clay need to you exercise it to acquire a dish.

Sooner than utilizing it, soften all fascinating edges with sandpaper, remembering to place on a mud screen as you’re employed.

Using your template

Having made and fired your bisque template, you may maybe maybe maybe now transfer on to the in reality thrilling job of environment up the dishes. You’ll be amazed at how fleet you may maybe maybe maybe acquire these, and can salvage that before you may maybe maybe maybe even be conscious about it, you’ll bear them lining up

You may maybe need:

Foam sheets for secondary templates

A desire of textured papers

Your chosen clay

Plastic sheets for rolling

Rolling pin

Colossal foam block (the model historical for upholstery)


Using the template you made for the bisque template as the gross outline, plan and reduce relief out a second template 30mm wider the general intention spherical.

Repeat for any more bisque templates you may maybe maybe maybe also just bear made.

Using every the templates as a book, reduce relief out a sequence of textured-paper templates to acquire decorative texture rims to your dishes. It’s factual to bear several different surface finishes.

Roll out a slab of clay utilizing 5mm-thick curler guides. Gain obvious the slab is immense ample to fit the greater template you bear appropriate reduce relief out.

When rolled, tender over the surface with a rib to compact the clay.

Turn the slab over onto an absorbent board and peel off the plastic sheet.

Soft over the surface all but again to compact the clay. Whereas you manufacture this each time you roll a slab, it’ll change into second nature.

Location the greater template on the slab and thoroughly reduce relief all the intention thru the shape with a fascinating knife, making obvious no longer to drag the clay as you slice relief.

Chase your finger all the intention thru the perimeter of the clay to melt and spherical it off somewhat. Again, it is a good thing to secure into the behavior of doing each time you’re employed with slabs on this style.


Location a sheet of plastic over the reduce relief-out slab and gently tender your give up the surface so as that the sheet adheres to the clay, nonetheless be cautious no longer to provoke fingermarks on the surface. Turn it over and tender the perimeters all but again.

In moderation elevate the slab (in location, on the plastic) off the board and location it on the foam block as confirmed.

Peel away the plastic and tender over the slab surface one more time.

Space the bisque template on the slab as centrally as in all probability. Exhaust your time to secure this lawful because even about a millimetres out will seemingly be noticeable when the dish is made.


Holding the template by the contend with, firmly press down into the slab. As you manufacture this, the clay will push into the foam, and the perimeters will rise to straight away acquire a dish. You may maybe be ready to press a second time, if required, for a deeper dish.


Opt the template out of the dish then, before lifting it off the foam, firm the clay up somewhat with a hairdryer to acquire it more uncomplicated to manage with without distorting.

Transfer the dish to a board need to you may maybe maybe maybe contend with it without peril.

Dish with textured rim

Roll one more slab of clay to the same thickness as the first.

Soft over the surface as before, then location the feel template on the surface, making obvious it suits flat so as that it won’t wrinkle or distort when rolled.

Making obvious the curler guides are restful in location, carefully roll the template into the clay.

Using a fascinating knife, reduce relief all the intention thru the template very carefully. When finished, peel away the paper to tag the feel pattern below.

Very gently, bustle your finger all the intention thru the perimeter of the clay to melt and spherical it off somewhat, taking care no longer to ruin the pattern.

At this stage, the slab shape need to restful be on the plastic sheet it used to be first rolled out on. Lay a second sheet of plastic over the surface and extremely gently tender it down so as that it adheres to the clay, nonetheless doesn’t ruin the feel.

TIP: Using plastic sheets to elevate and transport slabs on this style prevents the shape from distorting in going thru

Turn the slab over and peel off the plastic from the underside.

Soft over the surface with a rib.

Opt the slab, restful in location on the second sheet of plastic and transfer it to the foam block, texture aspect up.

Peel away the plastic.

The textured rim makes inserting the bisque template great more uncomplicated for this style of dish, so location the template interior the feel pattern.

As you did for the first dish, push the template down into the clay firmly unless the perimeters rise to develop the dish.

Whereas you’re elated with the shape of the dish, elevate the template out carefully.

Agency up the clay, as before, with a hairdryer, supporting the underside of the rim alongside with your fingers if the shape appears susceptible to crumple.

The fundamental to getting this style lawful is judging the capable say of the clay for optimum results. Too wet, and it won’t be ready to preserve its shape. Too dry, and the clay will crack as you press it down. Vital will rely on the kind of clay you exercise, so this is something you’ll want to salvage out to your self with observe.


Transfer the dish to a board and neaten the perimeters with a kidney, if required.

Enable to dry fully, prepared for firing.

Alternatively, you may maybe maybe maybe also sand the perimeters after bisque-firing, when it’ll be great more uncomplicated to manage with the dish.


Gain as many more dishes as you adore. You’ll salvage they rapidly mount up, giving you a immense feeling of enjoyment to your day’s work, and you may maybe maybe even bear had immense relaxing making them.


The samples confirmed here bear been glazed in a desire of Mayco stoneware brush-on glazes. The undeniable dishes bear patterns constructed up with more than one colors of glaze. The textured dishes bear been coated in just one glaze, which breaks over the feel to present depth to the surface.

This challenge first looked in divulge 14, on sale here

For more projects, click on here

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