Methods of producing ceramic piggy banks
1. On the potter’s wheel: This is modelling a piggy bank like a pot on a potter’s wheel. Potters are not too keen on making piggy banks this way.
2. Free modelling: ‘Free modelling’ is an artistic method. The results are fantastic, but very few potters do it this way.
3. Moulding: Most frequently used is moulding. Inside the mould you find the ‘negative’ image of the piggy bank. Slip clay is poured into the mould, water is soaked up in the absorbent mould. All is left to dry for a small period and then the rest of the slip clay is poured out again. To pour out the slip a piggy bank needs to have a hole. That’s probably one of the reasons modern piggybanks have stoppers. Makers of old fashioned piggy banks used creative means to let the slip go: a hole where the tail later was put on, or through one or more legs. The traditional opening for the coins is cut in the raw material before firing. See my blog (12/2015).
A second moulding method for making piggy banks is to use two halves of a mould, and to glue the raw forms together with slip. When done professionally no ‘seam’ is to be seen. Old and antique piggy banks often do show this seam. An identifying mark!
The result of both methods is a piggy bank that has to dry further and then to be fired in the oven. When fired it’s called ‘biscuit’.