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How to Build a Slip Casting Room

building a slip casting room

The biggest project of our move has been building a new casting room.  Here are a few pictures of how I've been doing it. 

Slip casting, the process we use to make all our pots, works much better when everything stays warm.  (I learned this the hard way when, for the first couple years of Orta production, we had excellent results in the summer, but starting in November, all sorts of weird problems cropped up - cracking clay, sticky molds, torn casts.)

In our current space we built a casting room from 2x4's, plywood and fiberglass insulation.  And it has worked well, but was quite expensive to build, is hard to clean, and is almost impossible to modify.

This time, we're building our warm room with cooler panels, the kind used to make large walk-in refrigerators.  But instead of a refrigeration unit, we'll use a heater.  Because brand new panels are quite expensive, and also use virgin materials, I've been searching for used panels, and it's been quite an adventure!  I finally found what I needed in a used-restaurant surplus yard in rural Sacramento. 

Here is the adventure of getting the panels and building the box.

building a casting room with used freezer panels

At the end of this rural road, I finally found the used cooler panels of my dreams.  (Well, at the the right combination of function, location, and price!)

building a casting room with used freezer panels

Located on the site of a former bean processing plant, this surplus yard was huge!  And kind of mind-blowing in its scale and variety.

building a casting room with used freezer panels

Loading panels into my trusty little Uhaul.

building a casting room with used freezer panels

I've never seen loading done like this before:  two forklifts going at the same time!  Like a ballet.

building a casting room with used freezer panels

That's what a 10' x 20' walk-in fridge looks like on a truck.  You can see that this place is really out there in fields!

building a casting room with used freezer panels
Unloading the panels in our new space.  The big empty box of the new warehouse is empty no longer!

 

building a casting room with used freezer panelsDriving the lift to help get the heavy roof panels onto the box. 

building a casting room with used freezer panels

As of yesterday, the box is up, and I've started making molds to be ready to resume production ASAP.

The movers come on Friday.  We're madly jamming to get the rest of the space ready!  More updates *after* the move.  :)

 

 

 

 


1 comment

  • Hi Anne, the space looks awesome. May your move be a smooth one without any hiccups. Happy moving day, and continue to post the journey. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Cheryl Green

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