Making Ceramic Knobs for Cabinets

As many of you know, I have been making tile for my kitchen as part of a home remodel. The tile is nearly done, and installation has started. In the dining area of my home are beautiful new oak cabinets that will have a tile top and backsplash. I would like to make ceramic knobs to match the tilework. I first saw handmade ceramic knobs in the home of my long-time friend Ted Juve, who has been a potter all his life. He explained how to make them to me, and showed me how to install small threaded brass sleeves into the knobs for a slick installation. These sleeves are available from Aftosa.

I made and carved some knob blanks a month or so ago, and then made a plaster cast of them to facilitate duplication. There were a couple of things about the first knobs that weren’t satisfactory – primarily, I made them too “deep,” so the knobs made from the press mold had to have a portion of their clay mass cut off after forming. I decided that I would throw and carve a new set of blanks that would be exactly the size of the finished knobs I wanted. Then, I could cut them to exact size with a wire right in the press mold.
I also wanted to correct the side plane and other details of all the knobs so there were no undercuts to complicate the plaster process.

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