Cast Tableware is a group exhibition that focuses on artists who employ the slip casting technique in the creation of their work. Slip casting is a production method that employs the use of liquid clay (slip) and plaster molds. The clay, when poured into the interior of a plaster mold is allowed to form a layer, the clay particles building up on the sides of the mold as the plaster draws the excess moisture from the clay. The longer the slip is left in the mold, the thicker the casting will be. Upon reaching the desired thickness, the excess slip is emptied and the plaster mold continues to draw moisture out of the slip. As this process occurs, the cast object shrinks and pulls away from the sides of the molds. The cast object is then removed from the mold, allowed to dry completely, and is then bisque fired. Glaze is then applied to the bisque object and the object is fired once again. The piece is now finished.
Slip casting is used primarily in industry for the mass-production of ceramic objects, including sculptural objects (table top figurines), tableware, toilets and sinks. Small ateliers also use it in the production of their wares. Within recent years artists in their individual studio practices have used the technique increasingly. It allows for ease in duplication of objects and increased productivity.
Some Artists within this exhibition, have sculpted their own original models, made molds of those models and then cast them. Others have taken molds off of existing objects, appropriating those objects and redefining the context in which they are viewed and used. Each in their own way continues to add to the possible use of this technique in the creation of contemporary tableware.
The artists included in this exhibition are Justyna Benton, Andy Brayman, Patrick Coughlin, Heather Mae Erickson, Paul Eshelman, Molly Hatch, and David Pier.
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