It’s been five years since we had a hands-on Molding and Casting workshop but those who were there in March 2008 will remember it vividly. We figured it’s time to do it again. At the March 9th meeting Tom Henke will again put his professional skills to work teaching several different methods.
You will learn a TON and go home with molds and castings for your haunt. There will be a few simple items you will need to bring with you — a list will be provided in a couple of days. The main thing you need to bring is an item or items that you want to make a mold from, and if you have some molds already, bring those and learn how to make castings.
Below is an overview of the many techniques that will be taught and materials that will be provided in the workshop. Please read it over and then sign up on the Yahoo database so Tom can get an idea of how much stuff we’re going to need.
Any questions, post them here and we’ll get them answered.
Making the Mold and Mother Mold
Tom’s method for making inexpensive, professional and long-lasting molds using household silicone will again be the centerpiece for creating molds from objects you want to duplicate. These molds will hold up for a very long time and make LOTS of castings. Materials will be provided but you need to bring masks, decorations,etc., that you would like to mold.
Silicone molds are very flexible and therefore they require a mother mold to maintain rigidity during casting. At the 2008 workshop Tom taught the traditional method of making mother molds from plaster. Since then he has invented a much better method that eliminates the weight and breakage factors, thus creating a more durable and east to use mother mold that has the additional huge advantage of better storability AND does not require a wooden frame.
Casting an Object From a Mold
There are many different materials that can be used to cast objects from molds. Tom will teach several methods and assist you in choosing and using the right one for your particular application. You can bring additional molds from home, if you wish. Casting materials will include:
- Hydrocal — similar to plaster but much stronger and less prone to breakage. Useful for heavy, substantial, solid pieces.
- Bondo — waterproof, quicker to set and even stronger than Hydrocal but better suited to smaller items. Yields very good detail and faithfully reproduces the surface of the mold, whether super smooth or rough.
- ABS plastic — produces a thin, smooth, hard plastic surface.
- Polyester resin — produces a brittle but glass-smooth surface that is translucent. Self-leveling and therefore suitable for smaller, flat objects.
- Polyester resin & fiberglass fabric — this is professional level material for creating very strong, lightweight structures. Suitable for large, hollow items or anything that has to be nearly indestructible. We use this for making the roof of the carousel, torsos for life size figures, etc., as well as smaller items.
- Gorilla glue & fabric — use for strengthening and backing latex and ABS masks, or as a durable finished product where a rough surface texture is acceptable.
Tom will provide all of the molding and casting materials and there’s no way of knowing exactly how much of what materials each person is going to use, so we’re not even going to try to figure it out or recoup all of the cost. If we only cover part of it, that’s fine. provided we get at least ten people who want to make stuff, we’re just going to set an unbelievable bargain flat fee of $20 to participate in the hands-on workshop, plus $5 for each additional tube of silicone, and use what you will.