Ceramic - Pottery Dictionary

by Susan Mussi

MOLD: 2 Spurs

ca: MOTLLE: 2 Puntes

es: MOLDE: 2 Puntas

In the photo there are two spurs, the big one was industrially made and the small one molded from it. They are in front of a pen drive to show how small they are.

Spurs are pieces of kiln furniture used for supporting objects with a flat base. If the glaze on the object runs, the spur makes a space between the object and the floor and makes it easier to separate them.

The process of making a spur is as follows. A small wooden rod a) and an industrially made spur are glued together to give it a handle b). The clay is prepared in a flat circle about 15cm wide and 3cm high, the spur is indented into it many times, the clay is left to dry and then fired.
In photo h) it is next to a tape measure so you can see the size.
In photo i) there is a bowl full of spurs and some have a circle indented into the base. These are the ones which are industrially made.

Fill up the spur indents with clay and level them out. To remove them hold a small bit of clay and touch them with it so it sticks and they can be pulled out. Or they can be left to dry and lifted out when the clay shrinks. Stand them on a bisque tile to dry, when dry use the tile as a tray and move them into the kiln to be fired.

Spurs are used to be put between the piece being fired and the floor of the kiln as a safety precaution in case the glaze runs off the sides, it makes separating them easier.

If they are glued to the surface of the piece after being fired, hold the work with your left hand and twist the spur sharply with your right to separate them. It always leaves a small mark in the glaze.

If the point of the spur is damaged or has any glaze on it, file it down before using it again.

When the underneath part of the piece is flat and clean of glaze, it can be put directly onto a shelf in the kiln. If, however, there is an area that has glaze on it and has to be signed, leave enough glaze-base for the signature and clean off each corner so the spurs can support it.

If using transfers do it the same way but in both firings, first the glaze and then a transfer of your sign or your signature. Read more about: Transfer