Many of my ceramics have been made through turning plaster on the lathe, carving into it, shaping it when still in its soft form or even using fabric to create a texture (image on the left).
There are only a few tools that I use for all of my model and mould-making and most of them aren't store bought. Differently shaped steel palettes and pieces of old hacksaw blade are my most useful tools.
Slip-casting is the only method I use to produce clay outcomes. It is usually a quick process once you have the mould made correctly. Sometimes, when working with textured pieces, casts can take a lot longer to clean than a more conventional shape.
I cast using earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The casting time is different for each type of clay with porcelain being the quickest to cast and stoneware taking the most time.
Glazing is one of the final processes I use on my ceramics and it can give some really unexpected results. This is why glaze testing is a constant part of any ceramicists practice. Depending on the firing temperature, the raw materials, the use of oxides or stains, glazing can be really complicated or a quite manageable.
Even though I do enjoy high fired, oxide coloured glazes, I am now opting for a more clean and flat colour achieved by stains added to the clay body or a base glaze.
I have worked with wood alone several times but it was only recently that I made it one of many elements of my work. Mixing materials is always a challenge, because you have to make sure that they work well together in terms of dimensions, friction/assembly, functionality and aesthetics.
When combining wood and ceramics I always fire and glaze my pottery first as its shrikage may vary depending on the type of clay or the firing temperature.