Thursday, 15 September 2011

Mould Making

I’ve had a bit of a struggle getting going on my mould making adventures. Some time ago I bought some Ranger Mold-n-Pour:

This is part of the Ranger Melt Pot range of products designed by Suze Weinberg for use with the Ranger Melting Pot. It comes in two small pots. It is quite expensive for what you get, which isn’t much! I have been looking for cheaper options, and found some on Ebay, but when it arrived, it was much too runny, and taking about a teaspoonful of each colour, I got in a terrible mess trying to mix it with my hands. I did eventually manage to press a couple of things into it but it was very messy around the outside and I had to trim it down with scissors in order to make the moulds sit flat on the table ready for filling. Highly unsatisfactory!

I contacted the seller, explaining my problem, and he replied that this stuff was designed for spreading over whatever you wanted to make a mould of, and what I needed was a putty type. I replied that if I had known this (no such detail was given on the listing, and the website wasn’t helpful unless you were well-versed in the technical jargon of chemical substances) I would never have bought it, and I asked him how we should proceed – whether I could get a refund or an exchange, since I’d only used a tiny quantity. Despite another email to him, I have not heard anything further from him! Although this stuff was a lot more economical than the Ranger product, it is still too much money to waste.

I am reluctant to go ahead and buy anything else until I know where I stand, and it’s a real nuisance because I have got a deadline coming up, and want to get on with my projects.

Anyway, I decided to go ahead and start using the Mold-n-Pour, until I could get a larger quantity of something else. You mix equal quantities of the two colours together until there are no streaks, which means that the two substances are now reacting together and will cure in a few minutes.

Having the two colours makes this very easy – you can see at a glance whether or not they are adequately mixed.

You then form it into a smooth ball by rolling it between your hands, and press it down onto the table so that it is wide enough to surround the object.

Then you press the object down into the putty, being careful not to press it all the way through.

I made the mistake of mixing up too much at once – you can see the other piece sitting on the table waiting to be made into further moulds when I’ve finished the one I’m working on, and by the time I got to the last one I made from that lump, it was definitely going off, and it was quite hard to press the object in! After that, I made each one individually. I hadn’t expected it to cure quite so quickly; apparently different brands do have different curing speeds, so you have to be careful.

After a very few minutes, I was able to start removing the objects from the moulds.

I was very pleased with the detail left in the mould, and I am sure I am going to be able to produce some lovely castings with them! Above my hands, you can see two moulds with the objects still in them. These were the ones that were starting to cure as I made them, but despite my initial anxiety, I think they will be fine, even though the silicone rubber looks a bit lumpy.

Here are the moulds I managed to make with about 3/4 of the Mold-n-Pour.

When I can sort out a decent source of supply and get some stuff more economically, I have got lots of other things I want to make moulds from – I am going to make some from the heads of bolts and screws for my steampunk projects, and also various bits of jewellery that I’ve got, and I’m going to be looking out for unusual buttons, and shells and other things like that. Actually, I can see myself looking at everything in a new light from now on – “Nice texture? Will it make a mould?”

Here is the video I made of this process of mould making.

I thought the music, the old Dowland song “Fine Knacks for Ladies” was appropriate for charm-making – “Though all my wares be trash, the heart is true, the heart is true!” Can’t say fairer than that.

4 comments:

  1. Hi there Shoshi wow love this idea thanks for sharing, God bless your day, Shaz in Oz.x

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  2. That stuff reminds of this material these sell for making figure prototypes, or sealing plumbing (I think it's called plumber's putty). I've even seen it sold via the likes of the Ronco or one of those infomercial ilk.

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  3. I used to dem how to make moles from this stuff. Sometimes someone watching would have a nice brooch on and I would borrow it to make a mold. It is handy to always carry some with you so that if you visit a friend you can take a mold of a figurine head she has.

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  4. I make my moulder for cheap using scrap polymer clay. The only draw back is that the molds are not flexible. But the fact that they are practly free makes up for that LOL!

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