We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Pottery Molds?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Feb 16, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Pottery molds are molds which are designed for use with ceramics. People can use pottery molds to create uniform sets, like matching bowls and plates, and molds can also be custom-created for specific projects. Ceramic and art supply often sell molds which are suitable for use in pottery. Commercial pottery manufacturers also use specialized pottery molds in the mass production of ceramic products. People who do not wish to purchase their own can often find a set for common use in an open ceramics studio or ceramics lab.

For pottery on the wheel, molds known as bats can be used to create standardized shapes. People throw pottery directly on the bat, using the mold to ensure that the pottery shape is even and regular. While it is possible to throw very standardized pottery shapes on the wheel with experience, bats can eliminate some of the guesswork, and be very valuable for people producing high volumes of pottery. Bats are also useful for perfectionists who are struggling with attempts to make a coordinating pottery set for a friend or client.

Drape molds, on the other hand, are pottery molds which are designed for use with flat sheets of clay. To utilize this kind of pottery mold, potters roll out clay very fine, often with a slab roller, creating a sheet of clay which can be draped inside the mold and pressed to conform with the shape of the mold, ensuring that the resulting piece will be even and crisp. When using drape molds, it is important to allow for shrinkage, as the clay will decrease in size significantly as it shrinks.

Both types of pottery molds can be purchased from companies which specialize in the production of molds. It is also possible to order custom pottery molds, such as molds with a stamped design which will transfer to the finished pottery. Some potters like to make their own molds, selecting a particularly fine potted piece and using it as a template for a mold which can be used again and again. Potters can also make variations on a standard mold by inserting things like leaves, coins, or abstract shapes into the mold before the clay, ensuring that these objects will leave distinctive impression in the clay.

Classically, pottery molds are made from plaster, both because plaster is a good material for making molds, and because plaster is highly absorbent. When clay is placed in a plaster mold, the plaster wicks away moisture from the clay, encouraging it to dry very quickly. Once the clay is partially dried, it can be gently teased away from the mold and allow to dry completely before being bisqued, glazed, and fired.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.