AdviceCrafts

Cleaning Plaster Ceramics Molds

I just purchased over 45 ceramics molds. They were in a dirty basement and are covered in dust. Is it OK to rinse them in water to get the dust off? Use a brush or just my hand? They are vintage pieces, most dated 1960s and 1970s.

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August 12, 20190 found this helpful

Use a misting of clean water and a soft toothbrush

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August 12, 20190 found this helpful

Soak them in warm/hot soapy water,to loosen the grime

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August 13, 20190 found this helpful

What a great find! Ceramic molds can be damaged by excess water. Try taking a soft, dry hard bristled brush to them and gently try dust them off. Best to go in one direction to not grind the dirt in worse. If you have to use water, use as little as possible and be sure to wipe off any excess immediately.

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August 13, 20190 found this helpful

Im getting mixed messages here. One response says soak them. One says use as little water as possible. Ive cleaned a few of them by rinsing under the faucet and rubbing gently with my fingers. They are primarily dust covered from sitting untouched for many years. After rinsing I let them sit in my sink rack in an upright position to drain. Then I put them back together and set them On an open shelf in my basement to dry completely.

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Im hoping this sounds right. I was reluctant to use a brush for fear of damaging the details.

Many of them are marked with names: Duncan, Albertas, Kimple, Ceramichrome. Ive found a few of them online. There is one website that has them listed by manufacturer and number. Several of the numbers I have are missing in the sequence on that site so Im not sure what that means. Rare?

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August 13, 20190 found this helpful

That is interesting that we all do have different takes on this. I am going from when I took a ceramics class in the 1970s and our teacher said never use water that it causes damage.

Perhaps things have changed. Everyone comes to their answers based on their own personal experiences, I guess. I can still hear Miss Smith's warning about water! She was a tough cookie, but it was a great class!

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As for the rarity of your molds. This is how I gauge rarity. I go to eBay and I put what I have in the search engine. If none come up (and sometimes I have to try a few ways) then the item may be rare or less common and therefore more valuable.

If a dozen come up, then it is not so rare, and probably not as valuable as I wish it to be.

Mold prices are all over the place online...from as low as 99 cents each up to the hundreds. I find that eBay gives a good feel for the market and what it offers and the prices that people get for items.

If you are thinking of selling them online, I am happy to share my experiences selling with you. I have been selling on eBay for almost 20 years.

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August 13, 20190 found this helpful

I have also been an ebay seller, since 2001. So I actually purchased these molds with the intent of selling them on ebay. I have no experience selling ceramic molds, but for the price I got them for, I figured it was worth a try. I'm always willing to try new items, especially when I get a rock bottom price on a large lot. I haven't had a chance to research all of them but of the few I have looked up, I've found a few that have sold.

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Most I cannot find, so I'm hoping those are hard to find items and I'll do well with them. A lot are Easter, like peeps and eggs. There are also several angels, and I know angels are popular items. I know holiday items are often in demand, so I hope these are good ones.

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August 13, 20190 found this helpful

Nice!! I always like to chat with other sellers and I admire you taking chances on something new to sell!

Are you planning to sell them with local pick up? I see mixed results on eBay for that method. There were a few that sold pretty high, but then there are a lot unsold. It is about 50/50 that route.

My worry for you selling them by the piece or in small lots is when you have to ship is that they are so fragile. I have found that the new DIM (dimensional) post office pricing has literally killed sales where you have to box things box that is large enough to offer the 2-3 inches of protection all around.

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I have all but quit selling fragile items in the past few months because of this change.

Are you in a big city? Perhaps you can find a fledgling ceramic studio to sell these to, to help them get off the ground?

Or if you have an active ceramics community in your town, perhaps you could host a selling party for them where you have tea and cookies and the members shop for the items at your set up in a local community room (I wouldn't do it at my house, but that is me).

Or maybe sell at a local flea market? Social media can be great for getting the word out that you will have a special sale on a certain date.

Keep me up to date with your progress! I am very excited for you!

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August 13, 20190 found this helpful

I love to try new stuff as long as I can get it cheap and don't stand to lose much if it fails.

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I will offer local pick up if desired, but I'm not afraid to attempt to ship them.

I have continued to sell fragile items as long as they can fit in 12x12x11 or less. I purchased a supply of 12x12x11 boxes for that purpose. It appears that most of these will fit in those boxes. Some are pretty small and will be easy to ship. The larger and heavier ones will be a challenge but I have a pretty good track record on shipping breakables. I think I will put a piece of bubble wrap between the two halves, then wrap the entire thing with cardboard, then in a box surrounded with peanuts. If some are rare, I would think that the shipping of these heavier items might be worth it to ceramics people finding a rare one. Hopefully by the end of the week I can start to get some of these listed.

I do occasionally sell at flea markets, so if the ebay route doesn't work, I will try them at the fleas.

To be honest, I have no idea how popular ceramics is in my area. I belong to a Facebook group for selling vintage items in my area. I could try them there as well.

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August 13, 20190 found this helpful

I used to have a great success rate with shipping but recently had a spate of things getting man handled and destroyed in the mail.

I am not a business doing this so I cannot afford to lose the money even if I got it for little. That is why I always preach caution.

Your wrapping methods sound a lot like mine. I do bubble wrap, heavy cardboard sleeves, then either peanuts or those foam bars wrapped in plastic, then I tuck newspaper in every corner so there is no movement.

I once had someone comment on my shipping that I "packed it like it was going off to war". I took it as a compliment!!

I wish you lots of success!! You have the right idea about paying little so there is little risk.

Post back with updates! Thanks for sharing your story!! It has been lovely chatting!

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Crafts AdviceAugust 12, 2019
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