Casting Your Miniature Doll Molds

This tutorial will provide you with step by step instructions on the use of your miniature doll mold. 


Miniature Doll Mold

Heavy Rubber Band

Porcelain Slip

Large Soft Dusting Brush


Measuring cup with good pour spout


Small Cat's tongue brush

X-acto Knife or Scalpel

Small Detail Brush

Finger Cleaning Tool



Use a very soft, clean brush to dust out your molds. Even if you put them away clean, they can get dusty while in storage.

Note:  If you live in an extremely dry, or very hot area, after brushing out your molds, mist lightly with water from a fine mist spray bottle to make pouring easier.

Thoroughly mix your porcelain slip.  You can do this by hand stirring, or using a mixing attachment and electric drill. Make sure that you get all the way to the bottom of the jug when mixing!

Pour mixed porcelain thru a strainer, and into your 2 cup measuring cup.  The strainer not only helps remove lumps and foreign matter in the slip, but also helps to remove bubbles.  Don't have a strainer??  Stretch a piece of nylon stocking over your pouring cup, and strain through that.

To pour miniatures, your slip must be the consistency of cream.  If your strained slip is too thick, thin with slip thinner, or small amounts of distilled water and stir gently.

Pour slip into the mold cavities in a slow smooth stream.  Continue pouring the cavity is completely full.  Do not stop and restart when pouring, as this will cause rings in your casting.  If pouring a complete doll, pour the torso and or head first, then the legs and the arms last.
Allow the molds to sit undisturbed until you see that the outer wall of the casting is the thickness of a quarter.  The smaller the piece, the faster this will happen, so your arms, even though poured last, will probably be thick first!
Drain the slip from your mold.  Empty arms first, legs, then heads and torsos.  Pour the slip out in a smooth steady stream.  Don't allow it to "glug" out of the mold, as this indicates that suction is being created in the mold that can collapse your casting. 

If your mold won't drain, insert a small cocktail straw carefully into the pour hole and gently blow on the straw to force the porcelain out of the mold.

Place your molds pourholes down, propping on a piece of molding or other prop, to allow the air to flow up into the mold.  The molds will continue to drain in this position.


Your molds need to sit until the casting has hardened enough to be removed.  The temperature and humidity in your area will affect how long this takes.  Additionally, the wetter your mold is, the longer it will take, so your first pouring will release sooner that your third or fourth. 

The easiest way to determine if it is time to open your mold is to remove the bands, and gently try to separate the mold halves.  If they separate freely, go ahead and open the mold.  If they are resisting gently efforts to separate, let them sit a while longer, and try again.

When opening your mold, have the bottom half sitting on a flat surface.  Hold that half down with one hand, and gently lift the top half STRAIGHT up from the bottom.  If you pull it off at an angle, you will probably bump the soft castings inside.
Perfect.  What a cute face!!!
When removing your casting, use a gentle touch and handle it as little as possible.  Lift the piece straight up and out of the mold.  If you pull it out sideways, or twist it out, you will dent or tear your casting.

Use a scalpel or X-acto knife to trim the spares (excess flashing at the tops of each piece) from the castings.  Cut slowly and smoothly.  No jagged edges please.
This is the easiest time to make the holes in your pieces for arms, and neck, and to also make sure that the tops of the arms and legs are hollow enough to allow insertion of your chenille stems if used for assembly.

At this stage, (often referred to as the leather-hard stage) it is ok to remove some of the seam lines from your pieces with a sharp scalpel or Xacto knife.  I do the vast majority of cleaning on my pieces after they are completely dry, but if I have enough time when pouring, I will go ahead and take of some of the larger seams.
You can also do some cleaning on the hands at this point.  Many people feel more comfortable cleaning tiny fingers while they are still wet because they don't break as easily as when dry.  Remove seams with a finger tool.  Dip a small soft brush into water then blot the excess off onto a paper towel.  Use this damp brush to further smooth the seam lines on and between the fingers.
I place my castings on baking sheets lined with paper towel to dry.  After all, what dollmaker has time to bake?????
At this point, you should put your castings in a clean, draft free place and allow to completely dry.  Do not try to force dry your greenware in an oven, or in direct sun.  Doing so will cause your castings to develop a very nasty scum over the surface that is very difficult to remove. When pieces are completely dry, you can proceed with additional greenware cleaning and preparation.  If you need instruction on cleaning your dry greenware and preparing it for firing, visit my Greenware Preparation Tutorial.


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