Ceramic Tile Mold Making

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Ceramic Tile Mold Making

Post  CottageCrafter on Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:50 pm

Thought I would post an image that shows a master mold, the replication (green rubber) dies and some finished tile.
The white #1 Pottery Plaster molds were made from the original sculpted tiles. Into that I pour Silicone Rubber that has about a 30 or better shore rating and let that set. Once set, I pull those rubber pieces out of the original master molds and label and pack the master molds away should I ever need them again.
The rubber dies are used to make working molds. This rubber is great to work with! In a liquid for it is very sticky, so you can brush it into nooks and crannies before pouring a mold full and not have to worry about air bubbles. (I have not had to de-air a single die yet, but if you are a beginner, de-air with a vacuum, it will save you heartache) When it dries, it sticks to almost nothing but itself, so you can pour this into a RAW plaster mold and when dry, watch it pop right out. These dies are tough! You can replicate the original mold hundreds of times with these same dies. If you have a production size of much of anything, you will need many working molds. (For trim tile that is plain, get a simple extruder, its faster.)
At the bottom I was just showing an example of the fired and glazed tiles.

Here is another set, the only difference here is that a cavity mold was made for pouring from slip.
(I rarely mess with this type of mold for tile, but thought you might want to see the process here also.)

If you should have any questions about mold making, just give me a yell.
Tile molds are very straightforward and its pretty easy to get the process down in short order..
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Adding some book titles that you may be interested in.

Post  CottageCrafter on Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:38 am

I have had a small book for years that is a must for anyone that wants to mechanically press tiles - Pressing Ceramics with Air Release by Reid Harvey - Its a small book but direct and to the point for anyone that has interest. I think that Axner or Bailey still sells the book in their book store sections.

Another wonderful book that anyone that ever wants to work in ceramics should have is - The Potter's Alternative. Got the cue for this book from a potter in Australia and it is wonderful. The book was by Harry Davis and usually still available on Amazon (where I recently got mine). I think that this guy was probably a bit of a genius but you will have to decide that for yourself. I rate this book as a - have to have - book for anyone working in ceramics.
Its a serious working potter's lifes work all neatly bound together. Has plans for a lot of the equipment that anyone working in clay will need.

If you need reference catalogs for US tile makers of the past, jump over to the Tile Heritage Foundation's web site and check out their copies old tile catalogs. Worth the inspection!

As for me, I am in the process of making my own hydraulic tile press, I will keep you posted on how that works out.....
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