Once the slip is perfectly smooth, it’s ready to be poured into our hollow plaster moulds. Like the clay itself, our moulds are made by hand in Stoke in the traditional way, using plaster – a material designed to absorb the moisture from the slip. Made of at least two parts, they need holding together to stop the slip dribbling out; we’ve found that the inner tubes of bike wheels make the best bindings. As the plaster starts absorbing the liquid, the outside surfaces of the clay begin to dry. Gradually, the whole piece becomes strong enough and we can remove the mould, leaving the cast shape behind. This step can take from a few hours, for our smaller platters, to overnight, in the case of our large Pineapples. It’s at this point that our potters add any extras that might be needed, such as handles or decorative 3D details, like leaves.