The idea of every product starts with a napkin scribble of a form and possible aesthetic. My work is driven by functionality, research and storytelling.
Digital Modelling & 3D Printing
All designs are turned into a digital model, where it will be scaled to the proper size, and sent off to be 3D printed. From there, it will be cleaned up to get a smooth finish for plaster mold making.
Plaster Mold Making
Using pottery plaster, the 3D print is used to make plaster molds for slip casting. A plaster mold is a hollow cavity that you pour clay slip into, and can be made into multiple sections; 1, 2, 3, 4+ parts.
Slip casting is the process of pouring liquid slip into a plaster mold and removing the form that has thickened. The interior shape is then used to make multiple copies in ceramic clay.
Once dried, all pieces go through a first firing called a Bisque. This happens before glazing to remove some moisture from the piece and to ensure that each one is strong enough for handling.
Pieces that are bisque fired, can be glazed at this stage. Most Too Friendly pieces are glazed on the inside and rim only.
Finally all pieces go through a second, and final firing, called a High Fire or Stoneware firing. This firing strengthens and waterproofs all pieces.
The slip casting process, from start to finish, takes 8-10 weeks. It is a slow practice that considers design, making and drying times.
While it may be a longer production timeline than other techniques, it gives the flexibility to produce an unlimited number of pieces with a consistent look and quality.
Too Friendly's work explores the nature of clay, pushing the limits of slip casting and spot-lighting the possibilities of clay.
All Too Friendly pieces are made using porcelain clay slip; a liquid clay that has the consistency of thickened cream.
This means they're waterproof (even without glaze), and microwave and dishwasher safe. It's a temperamental material that is prone to warping easily.
Too Friendly pieces are hand-crafted using coloured porcelain. All colours you see in our pieces are pigments that have been mixed into the clay slip.
This creates a solid colour blocked surface pattern, that is long lasting without glaze protecting it.
All the surface patterns are hand built into the pieces using the coloured clay.
The benefit of doing this with clay, rather than underglaze or glazing, is that it's a unique technique that makes solid colours that are long lasting.
See more behind the scenes
FAQ about Production
Do you outsource any of your services?
Only the 3D printing and firing is outsourced. Everything else is designed and made by Too Friendly!
Why do you focus on clay?
There are so many things that can be done with clay, the natural material is complex and technical.