Head Mould 02 The Right Way

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After the first attempt at moulding was a bit of a disaster, the clay sculpt that I managed to rescue needed some reworking. As I was sculpting, I decided to alter the character a little by giving him a bent nose. I felt it gave a little ‘past’ to the guy.

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Once the re-sculpt was finished, I put him in the freezer, ready for the next step.

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When the character’s head had chilled nicely I started building up the water-based clay for the first half of the mould.

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More clay build-up

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The marbles/locators were inserted, then the excess clay was trimmed.

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The following step was to glue the foam board into a frame and seal around the edges to protect from any resin leaks

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The resin was weighed, then mixed THOROUGHLY to ensure the same problem from last time was not repeated.

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Image 23 shows the resin as it was set, then image 24 is how it looks once the foam board has been removed.

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The first half of the mould has worked successfully

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This step is the clean up of the water-based clay, and the removal of marbles. When I tried removing the marbles, they didn’t actually want to come out. Image 29 shows how I had to use a screwdriver with a hammer to chip them out, which resulted in chipped marbles in image 30. Note to self, marbles probably work fine with plaster moulds but not plastic resin.

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When the marbles were removed, there was still some glass shards stuck to the mould. I solved this by sanding them out with an engraving tool to remove all of the glass, of course with all of the necessary safety equipment.

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With the mould clean and safe, I started the procedure of building the frame and coating the first layer of resin in petroleum jelly so the next pour wouldn’t stick and I’d be able to separate the two halves.

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Each half of this head mould took 600g of resin. It is quite a lot but it made sure that the mould is nice and strong without any fragile areas.

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After an hour when the resin had cured, I removed the foam board, took out the water-based clay that had actually cooked and dried-out from the heat of the chemical reaction, then wedged the two halves open with a pair of pliers.

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When I opened the two halves, the oil-based clay was warm and soft. The armature was visible and un-harmed due to the plumbers tape I had wrapped around it previously,

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I unwrapped the plumbers tape, then started removing the oil-based clay from the mould.

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The clean-up took quite some time. After scooping out the main volume of clay, I scraped the rest of it off with a cocktail stick.

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Once as much possible clay had been removed, I cleaned up the mould with alcohol spray and cotton buds. However, there was some clay around the inside of the mouth which I couldn’t get to, so I used the Dremel and a few different engraver tools to sand down any awkward areas.

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These images show some engraving and clean-up of the mouth.

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The same clean-up process was followed for the second half of the mould

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With the clay removed I soaked the pieces in warm soapy water to remove any oil residue left by the chemicals.

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Some of the foam board was still stuck to the mould, so, after the soaking, the majority of black paper was scraped off

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The next step was to sand off any sharp areas of the moulds to make it safe to handle repeatedly

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It’s best to do this outside.... It can get quite dusty

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After the sanding, a quick wash to remove any dust, and now the mould is finished, ready for the casting in silicone.

Check out more about ‘Mother’s Days’ at: www.skygecko-nat.blogspot.com

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