Crucible Making

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Born On:
09:23, 9 December 2014 (CST)
Last Updated:
10:27, 09 December 2014 (CDT)


Medium scale crucibles that are good for hobby level metalcasting are either difficult to acquire or are expensive. I'm experimenting with different ways of making them!

First Experiment (Slipcasting)

Pictures here

  • I made a plaster mold out of USGS #1 Pottery Plaster
  • slipcast recipe: scrap clay from old pottery making projects and a 10# block of High Fire clay from Michaels or Hobby Lobby. Add a tablespoon of Sodium Silicate for flavor.
  • The first slipcast was allowed to develop its shell for about 3 to 4 hours. (the next one was allowed to sit overnight)
  • the crucible was candled in the oven for 4 hours and then in the kiln for 2.
  • it was fired for an unknown time, because the kiln turned off in the night, but judging from the firing pattern on the cone, it reached a respectable temperature before stopping
  • Results of experiment
    • The crucible stood up to the heat quite well, and provided a quite sufficient container for metalcasting.
    • The crucible cracked slightly upon being set on the cold concrete, prior to pouring. It wasn't bad enough to prevent pouring, in the future, contemplate setting crucibles on a wood insulator. Wood will carbonize and the carbon would be a better insulator, buffering the crucible during the transfer.
    • after the crucible was allowed to cool in the furnace, it was removed and tested for damage. The damage was severe, several hairline cracks all over the surface were observed.
    • The crucible was pulled into shards by hand.