Monday, January 31, 2011

Tom Spleth and Casting Porcelain Boxes

Last Sunday, I went over to Tom Spleth's house to talk about a project he was working on and needed some help getting done. He had been prototyping porcelain boxes to put a series of prints of skulls into. We had a week to: construct a kiln, fire-proof a room, construct pouring jigs to help pour the 150 pound molds, cast the boxes in porcelain, fire the boxes, and polish the boxes. He needs 20 total, but by the 1st of February we needed 1 complete box.

These are some of Tom's cups.

The cone 6 porcelain slip.

Tom and Ian with pouring jigs.

Ian staring dreamily into the slip. (It's claimed that if you stare deep enough, you can see your future....)
Tom Pouring

We missed the bucket once, but luckily a lot of it fell on me as I tried to catch it.

The pieces in the kiln,

Detail (looks like a parking garage)

We built the kiln up around the cast box lids and bottoms, leaving just a few inches around the pieces and kiln furniture, and then put the top on.
Tom fired it today and everything seems to be fine. I will post an image of the boxes when they are finished.

Check out Tom's website here and cups here.


  1. it is an awesome thing when all of the hard work is taken for granted because the final outcome is so beautiful. keep up the good work.

  2. great process shots, thanks for sharing this!