What is a sprig?
Ceramic Art Lesson Plan: Making Sprigs From Ceramics Arts Daily
Sprig molds provide a great way to decorate your work.
Made from fossils, shells, found objects, or by carving into clay, there’s no limit to the variety. Sprig molds provide a great way to decorate your work. Made from fossils, shells, found objects, or by carving into clay, there’s no limit to the variety.
Sprig: press-molded clay piece added to leather-hard work. Sprigs are created using small molds made of bisque-fired clay or plaster.
Press mold: a mold, usually plaster, into which moist clay is pressed to create multiples.
Undercut: common flaw in plaster or bisque molds, where the clay or casting catches and will not pull free without breaking or distorting. To judge whether a mold of an object will have undercuts, look at the object from above, and slowly move your fingertip from the top of the piece down the side. If at any point the tip of your finger is hidden by the piece, that spot would translate into an undercut in a mold because the object goes from wider to narrower. When cast in plaster, the opening on the mold would conform to the narrower section, making it impossible to remove the form in one piece. Objects with undercuts require multiple-part molds and are not suitable for sprig molds.
One of our best examples of using sprigs on pottery at Carolina Creations is the work we have by Charlestowne Pottery.
Begin by using the finest grain clay you have. While porcelain is best, I used fine-grain white stoneware with good results.
Another example at Carolina Creations is pieces by Jeffcoat Pottery.
Note: Sprigs can be used in several ways.
They’ve been used as feet and in a surface decoration.
Here is a mold for making sprig handles. The beauty of using sprig handles is that you can get a more consistent size for your handles.