Slipcasting, design, and handmade.
Slipcasting is a process of forming objects using liquid clay in plaster mold systems.
It is known as a process used in industry to allow for objects to be replicated. Its association with industrial ceramics production often classifies this process as lacking authenticity. I think this comes as a backlash to studio potters relating their work to the cheap, mass produced pottery made in factories. Using mold systems transfers some of the creative process from active form-finding to engaging with forms that have been confidently designed once. This is where we feel it is important to expose where that creative energy that is often applied to wheelthrowing or handbuilding goes in our process using mold systems.
Slipcasting is just another method to get from a concept to a final form. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the objects will be made faster rather it allows for us to produce things out of the round and to form things that would be tougher to form on the wheel. Each piece we make inevitably has many hands touching it. While each design may not be one of a kind, each iteration of that design is.
We feel that potters are constantly designing on the wheel or using handbuilding techniques. We believe it’s exciting to take one of these moments of active design and translate it into a reproducible object. The most effective way to do this is by using molds and templates.
We see the idea of “handufacturing” as a process where our goal using mold systems is not to remove the hands involved. Instead we see it as an opportunity to use tools and technology to make the process more efficient and allow for other skilled makers to work together to execute the designs. The goal of manufacturing and mass production is to involve as few humans as possible to lower the costs of making something.
The Bright Angle Studio is comprised of a number of studio artists that have a firm understanding of process and materials. This allows problems to be solved on the go rather than needing to consult industrial designers or factory managers to execute something properly. We believe that good design is a marriage of concept, material, process and utility. In order to reiterate our viewpoints in keeping something special we are adamantly working in small batches in limited editions.