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This document will show the process of my ‘Son’ Character’s first head mould. These first images show the little bumps and nicks that happened to him after sculpting him, then leaving him to one side for a while whilst other tasks called.
Here I’m showing the process of re-smoothing the clay, ready to go through the moulding process. In image 05 I’m using my soldering iron with the hot air setting to melt some rough areas of clay as it gives a nice smooth finish.
Next is the build-up of water-based clay to support the sculpt for the resin (same process for plaster mould making). I have covered this process in more detail in my previous posts.
11. 10. 12.
The seam between the sculpt and the water-based clay is important, it needs to be as clean and neat as possible so there is less ‘fixing’ when it comes to the final casting. This is where the two parts of the mould come together and the excess silicone will need trimming, so the neater the better.
These images show various stages of building up the clay support. Image 16 shows how clean and tidy a good seam should be.
In this mould I decided to use marbles as the location points. I had seen this suggested in a tutorial during my research so I decided to give them a try. They are embedded into the clay just past half way so there are no undercuts which would prevent the two halves of the mould from separating.
21. 24. 23.
The next step was to build up the foam-core frame, seal the edges, and cover the model in a thin layer of petroleum jelly as a water-proofer and mould release. Then to prepare the polyurethane resin.
I had been putting this process off for a while as I was a bit nervous incase I did it wrong and had to start the sculpt again. Then I decided to just go for it, as time was passing quickly. I only had small plastic cups available so I had to make 3 batches very quickly, and in my slightly panicked state I didn’t mix the two part chemicals for long enough. The tester mould had gone perfectly so I didn’t quite realise how important vigorous mixing was to the process. Image 26 shows how the mould was seconds after the pouring, I thought it would continue to have a chemical reaction over the hour to use up all the smily looking areas. Image 27 shows how it looked the next morning.... Still slimy.
Other layers still visible with sticky slime in between
The next morning I was a bit gutted to see the resin was still gooey. To try and rescue the mould, hoping it was just the outside that I hadn’t mixed properly, I mixed (thoroughly) another small batch and poured it on the top to seal the top of the mould. This didn’t work though, when I took the foam away all the layers were still showing with goo oozing out.
When I took the water-based clay support away I was hoping the batch of resin I had poured on first might have cured where it was most important, however, that wasn’t the case. It was greasy, sticky and oozing out uncured resin everywhere. There were large areas that had cured, but with slime in pockets around the mould. This meant I couldn’t just pull the sculpt from the mould, I had to cut and chip it out to try and save as much of the head as possible. I used a cutter piece on the Dremel, and chiselled other areas out with a hammer and screwdriver.
Here shows the devastation caused by not mixing the resin properly. It could have been worse.
I also had to remove the mouth piece so I could re-sculpt my character.
As you can see, a bit of a mess. Another lesson learnt. 2 days to fix this simple mistake.
Also, a bunch of wasted resin.
Check out more about ‘Mother’s Days’ at: www.skygecko-nat.blogspot.com