How to Make and Use Sprig Molds for Pottery

Using sprigs adds both visual and tactile design to pottery. And sprig molds are easy to make by simply carving leather hard clay or using a stamp. Jen Mecca shows how to make and use sprig molds in this great little video clip!

sprig molds

A sprig is a press-molded clay piece added to leather-hard work. Sprigs are created using small sprig molds made of bisque-fired clay, plaster, or any other material that can be carved or cast. Jen Mecca uses sprig molds to add depth to the slip inlay drawings with which she adorns her pots.

In today’s post, an excerpt from her new video Thrown, Altered, Sprigged, and Sketched, Jen shares how she makes her sprig molds and then demonstrates how she creates sprigs and affixes them to her pots. – Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.

PS: Check out this archive post for another take on sprigging ceramics.


Ceramic Decorating Tool Techniques

Decorating your pots has never been easier with the helpful tips, tricks, and techniques when you download this freebieCeramic Decorating Tool Techniques.




This clip was excerpted from Thrown, Altered, Sprigged, and Sketched, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Shop!

To learn more about Jen Mecca or to see more images of her work, please visit http://jenmeccapottery.com/.


A Little Background on Sprig Molds

Wedgwood Jasperware from England is a well-known example of sprig-decorated ware. While Wedgwood’s patterns are very delicate and intricate, simple sprig molds can be made using almost any object or hand-modeled relief that does not have undercuts. (Undercut-common flaw in plaster or bisque molds, where the clay or casting catches and will not pull free without breaking or distorting).

Historically, sprigs were removed from the sprig molds then applied to the pot. You can also press the sprig onto the pot while it is still in the mold, which can either be a gentle press or a deep one that changes the contour of the pot. Doing this requires an interesting shape for the whole sprig mold. – Judi Munn

Using Sprig Molds a Little Differently

Blair Clemo is a contemporary artist who uses sprig molds in his work in a slightly different way than usual. He actually makes sprig molds that are long strips. Then he uses those strip sprigs like coils and builds his pots with them. Check out this video to see his process!

Do you have any creative ways to use sprig molds? Share them in the comments below!

Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Enter Your Log In Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.

Larger version of the image

Send this to a friend