Instructor:  Kala Stein

In this virtual mold making class, participants will learn production methods for making functional or sculptural forms.  Participants will learn how to accurately mix and pour plaster and the fundamentals to make their own drop out (1 part), 2 and 3 multi-part molds. Core values of thoughtful design, efficiency, and sustainability will guide all steps of the process. Participants should have experience working with clay but no experience with plaster is necessary.

The proper studio setup and health and safety are critical to the mold making process. To begin, participants will be provided with the correct information to set up a work space at home. Kala’s demonstrations will cover everything from what to consider when designing a vessel, various prototyping options (plaster, handbuilt, and thrown), and troubleshooting potential problems before they happen.  

Format: The video recordings will be released to the participants before the class starts, through a set of Youtube links to watch at your own pace.  Enrollment will be kept to 6-8 per class. Weekly consultations over Zoom ensure Kala can answer all of your questions and can analyze/problem-solve for your specific project(s). The rest of the group is present and each individual has a timed slot to consult one-on-one with me. Learning from each other is a major part of this experience and is a major value-add.

If you have limited resources such as time and studio access, you may choose to be more of an observer, and that’s fine too!

Videos: Kala will begin with the fundamentals of setting up a workspace, specialized tools, and the proper way to mix plaster. Demos include stages of plaster, multi-part molds from found, clay, and plaster objects, carving a plaster model, making dropout, 2 part and 3 part molds, casting, fettling, attaching handles, casting slabs, and more. Video access expires at the end of 2020. The class discussion recording will be sent through a Youtube link within 24 hours after the class.

Time Commitment: It is recommended to spend ample time in the studio for the 4 weeks so that during the consultations (think of them as studio visits) you can get the most benefit. If you have new work or problems to solve each week, that makes for the most dynamic conversation. AKA the more you work, the more you will get out of the class.

Participants must pre-register for the workshop to get the Zoom links, and the Tool List that includes the Videos (available to watch through the end of 2020). Once you register, the links will be in your confirmation email. 


$315 Sonoma Community Center Members.

If you are local to Sonoma, we are selling plaster by the pound. Email [email protected] to purchase.

All Levels

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Kala Stein

Kala Stein


Kala Stein is an artist and designer noted for innovative mold making and casting techniques. Her work explores dynamic systems and practices within the intersection of design, production, and craft.  

Kala received her MFA in Ceramics from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and a BFA in Ceramics from SUNY New Paltz. Along with her collaborative, she received a National Endowment for the Arts Grant to explore architectural terracotta and digital fabrication at the Maryland Institute of Art in 2017.

She exhibits her work widely and works with private clients on custom designs for the home and hospitality industry.  Kala has taught colleges and art centers across the country including Anderson Ranch Center for the Arts, Diablo Valley College, and Alfred University.  She is the of Director of Ceramics at Sonoma Community Center, California, and oversees the public studio and artist in residence program.