I’ve been taking a keen interest in plaster moulds and how they’re used for the purposes of mass-production. It’s rare for this method to excite me in the same way that handmade does, but in order to touch a wider audience there’s always going to be a benefit in using this technique. I for one am not against it, and see some serious strengths in hand building a special form that can be replicated for all to use and admire. Much like what Danish creative Mette Duedahl has designed, producing these beautiful stoneware objects by using a casting method. The final pieces have some great tones and textures, alongside a contemporary feel. The resulting collection is a mix of Press Coffee Jugs, Mugs and Boxes that are both practical and functional, tools used in everyday life. These classic forms give the objects a simplicity, easy to pick-up and revolve around.
Mette’s creative process involves developing the basic form in plaster and then making a mould for casting the final product. Some products are made of several cast elements, which are subsequently pinched together. The Press Coffee Jug and Mug are made of stoneware casting slip that’s been dyed with the earth oxides umber and ochre. Duedahl wanted to take the best elements of the stoneware designs of the past and transfer them to a contemporary context. One way to offer a different flavour is through the exterior surface treatment of the body, polishing it with a wet-grind paper to create a silky smooth form with clean lines.
By simply adjusting the height and size of the mould you can meet different users needs and achieve a wide range of possibilities, which is not only inefficient when producing by hand but it’s also hard to produce enough to make a real dent in the world. I’ll be interested to play around with this method myself, maybe incorporating the stoneware clay and giving it those fine properties of porcelain, you’re then toying with an interesting concept. For more from Mette see her website on the link below.