When creating pottery, the options and ideas are endless. But what happens after the perfect design is formed? Can it be recreated or is it merely a one of a kind? Can the exact same size and shape be made over and over again? It is possible to recreate pottery creations using a special tool called a dice.
What is a Pottery Dice?
A pottery dice is basically like a mold of a specific shape, for example a cup. The dice used in pottery always comes in thick pieces, usually at least three separate pieces. One piece is basically a small pedestal or stand for the other two pieces to sit on. The remaining two pieces form the two halves of the shape. For example, the dice would have to front of a cup indented in one piece and the back of the cup indented in the second piece. The two pieces fit perfectly together and rest on top of the pedestal piece.
How is a Dice Used in Pottery?
First, the dice should be rubbed down on the inside with French chalk. This helps to keep the liquid clay from sticking to the dice. When the dice is put together, the two halves are perfectly fit together with a hole in the top. The hole in the top allows you to pour liquid clay into the dice. Carefully pour liquid clay into the dice until it reaches the rim of the dice. Next, a rubber band is placed around all three pieces to keep the pieces tightly together. Because the dice is made of plaster of Paris, it absorbs moisture from the liquid clay. The clay hardens where it touches the dice and forms the outer shell of the cup.
Once this hollow shell is formed, the next step is to pour out the excess liquid clay. After the liquid clay is removed, the inside of the outer shell can now dry.
Once the entire shell is dry inside and out, it is time to remove the dice. At this stage in the process, it is extremely important that the clay is entirely dry and hardened. If it is not, the entire creation is at risk of crumbling into pieces. Also, use extreme caution when removing the clay from the dice. First remove the rubber band. Slowly and carefully, slide the two halves of the dice apart. One way to do this is to first remove one half of the dice, then carefully lift the cup out of the other half of the dice.
Place the cup in a place where nothing can touch it or knock it over.
Now clean the dice before using again, and continue making the cup or another same size and shape over and over.