The Little Green Dragon: The outcome of a lengthy 3D 2-piece mould making process

Now, finally the time has come for the last part of the mini-series about how to duplicate small forms and figurines. My smallest soapstone dragon was a good prototype for trying out the process of making a full 3D mould, which took place in several steps.

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The prototype was “halfend” by a wall of plasticine, following the contours of the half-way line as straight as possible. A wall of cardboard was then built as a pouring area and the prototype was brushed with Vaseline to let the Silicone part from it when added. Small holes were pressed into the Plasticine wall as clearly as possible, they helped to “lock” the two mould halves together.

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The Silicone was prepared with an additive to give it a gelly consistence so it could be brushed onto the prototype thoroughly. When this was done, the Silicone needed to cure. On top of this, a plaster jacket was applied. Messy? Oh yes 😉

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When this had set, all of the Plasticine was removed thoroughly.

The whole process was repeated for the second half of the form. After the second plaster jacket had set, the mould could be taken apart, the prototype was removed and the mould was ready for casting.

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My casting test was a hollow cast done with resin. The liquid material was spread and brushed very carefully into the put-together mould, held by the plaster jackets.

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For the “serious” cast, I added some green pigments to the polyurethane resin. Here is the outcome – a nice little green dragon, light as a feather.

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pic by Th. Schramm

 

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I found it very interesting how many different ways there are to mould and cast, and the astounding and often suprising effects one can apply to the casts using a variety of materials. The possibilities of deception seem endless 😉

How to duplicate small figurines and sculptures…

Some time ago, I attended a very interesting course in mouldmaking and casting which took place in London. There is a surprising variety of how one can „duplicate“ (small art-)objects. This is the first post of a mini-series documenting some of my „output“.

Today´s post is about making 1-piece-moulds in silicone. Prototypes: a chameleon and an eagle´s head.

My little chameleon from airdrying modelling clay was taped on a piece of wood, surrounded by a mould wall of cardboard which was glued to the bottom. A bit of vaseline was brushed around the chameleon´s bottom line where it was uneven – and silicone was carefully poured onto it. The silicone had been prepared before by adding a catalyst to silicone rubber and very thorougly and slowly stirring it to mix the components smoothly.

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Within a day, the silicone had cured and the original piece could be removed. Tadaahh- the mould was ready to use. For my „new“ chameleon I used a polyurethane resin – which as well is a material mixed  of different components that would first be liquid and then turn solid – to which I added green pigments. This mixture was poured into the mould. After a few hours, the material had hardened and could be removed from the mould – out came a cute new and very green chameleon, solid and smooth. The mould still is perfectly well in shape and I reused it twice…and then decided that for now I do have enough chameleons in my life ;-).

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The second prototype, my soapstone eagle´s head, was taped to a flat surface just like the first piece. A cardboardring was placed around it and glued to the bottom, the prepared silicone was poured very slowly and carefully over the eagle´s head. The beak would be a tricky part, one can never be sure where unwanted air bubbles gather that can ruin your mould. So – with a bit of luck, after the silicone had cured, the eagle´s head could be carefully sliced out of the mould – phew, no bubble-trouble! Again, the resin was mixed and poured into the mould.

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I made two casts which both turned out well. One cast with tea-crumbs as a „colour“-addition giving the head a cool granite-stone-look (even though the material is very light) And the other cast with a bit of brownish colour almost implying chocolate ;-).

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I sanded both a bit – and especially the „tea-head“ I find quite nice with the grainy structure. The mould can be used again as the silicone smoothly bobbs back to its form even though it has been cut to remove the prototype.

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The next post in this mini-series will be real cool: how to make a green monster hand! So stay tuned…

 

 

 

 

A happy new year to you all, I hope you are well! Starting 2014 with some tricky business…

… do you remember the little soapstone owl I posted not long ago? Well, I gave it away as a present, but before that I moulded and castet it to experiment a bit …and as I really like coppery-brownish-reddish colours, I faked a rusty surface.  It was my very first try without any references and I just kind of intuitively worked some layers of paint on it…I quite like the effect.

What do you think?

I find it quite fascinating what can be done with “fake” surfaces, I will go on experimenting, and might try something really challenging … wood ?!?

Last year I attended a real interesting course in London led by David Neat, a real expert in modelmaking, moulding and casting (see his informative blog www.Davidneat.wordpress.com), and I really learned a lot there, had a great time, and will add some work-in-progress-Pictures from that experience shortly.

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work in progress: a little soapstone owl.

work in progress: a little soapstone owl.

This little fellow will be finished – all smooth and polished – by Christmas. It´s quite nice to work on such a small piece for a change, the stone is just about 5 cm high. But one really has to take great care when using a tool on this little face – one false move and it´s messed up completely with not much working material left to improvise.

Billy Bison

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I made this sweet guy some time ago, from soapstone…his horns are made of sculpting clay. Iespecially like his facial Expression, I find it very Bison bull-like ;-).

 I still am in the process of sculpting and finishing a full-body-sculpture of Rufus, the coati, Dougal the waterdragon and the yet name- and genderless waterfairy. But not long and they´ll be online, I am keen to get it done 😉

Speaking of stones…apropos Steine…

As all of you, my dear followers, are very talented and creative people, it would be great to hear your opinion on what to make from this lovely, reddish, rather flat and bonehard stone…any suggestions? ;D      There are some nice warm autumn weekends ahead of us – I am sure about that – so I really would like to use them for some outdoor-stonework before winter comes. So please help me out with some ideas.

Upcoming posts:
> waking Woody / Woody erwacht
> Rufus, the coati – meet grocer Crapshaw´s witty assistant / Rufus, der Nasenbär – lernt den putzigen Gehilfen von Krämer Crapshaw kennen
> Waterdragon Dougal – on and off-duty  / Wasserdrache Dougal – im Dienst und im Freizeitdress

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