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The moulds, made from plaster of Paris, are carefully filled with liquid clay - known as slip – which is a mixture of china clay, feldspar, bone ash and water. The porous mould gradually absorbs water from the slip, so that a thin layer of clay begins to form on the inner surface of the mould, picking up the shape and detail of the original model. The surplus slip is then poured away and the mould is left to dry before the fragile casting is carefully removed. The skill of the caster is to empty the mould at just the right time, when the clay is strong enough but still thin and delicate, so that the finished item will have the fineness and translucency characteristic of the best bone china.


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