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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mastering The Art Of Cutting And Re-Joining Sculpture Castings

Custom Silicone Rubber Mold Making On A Machined Prototype Model

Here is the initial stages of a fiberglass/silicone rubber mold being laid out. This will be a removable flexible mold due to a couple complex areas.

The silicone rubber thickness is being established and controlled for a precision placement of the mold so that every time it is extracted it will fit back with minimal setup.

Here are two of the finished silicone rubber molds that are in the curing process. Once the bottom half of the molds were fitted, the molds were ready for production.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mold Making For A Gargoyle Creature

I had received several requests for a gargoyle creature for the garden so I sculpted this figure out of sculpting wax, painted it to see what I had, and as shown above, began the process of creating a two part silicone mold and a fabricated fiberglass mother mold (not shown) for support. Here you can see that I have cleanly established the seam line by using Kleen Klay and wooden blocks for support.

In the photo above, I have applied the initial detail coat of silicone and made certain that all areas have been covered including a predetermined area surrounding the sculpture so that you will have a lip of rubber that aids in the proper alignment of the two halves. Two additional thicker coats of rubber will be applied to give you a strong enough mold for many castings.

Here you have the cured rubber mold lying in the fiberglass mother mold flipped over with the back part of the sculpture now facing up, ready to repeat the above process. When this has been completed holes will be drilled through the fiberglass and rubber lip and joined, now ready for casting.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Mysterious Supplies Of Sculpting

When viewing sculpture, what most people are seeing are the final forms after the modeling clay has been sculpted. What several people have expressed their surprise over the most was the clay itself. It was as if there was just as big of a mystery surrounding the clay as much as the sculpture itself. Surprisingly, many people are not aware that sculpting or modeling clay comes in large slabs normally averaging 7-10 pounds per slab. The clay that I use exclusively is a personal formula that I use for everything. The detail that it is capable of holding is astounding. When completely cool it will produce very sharp edges if you should need that degree of detailing. It is priced at $2.50-$3.50 per pound, depending on weight, and is available for order at

But what seems to be an even bigger mystery are the supports that holds the weight and helps the sculptor flesh out any particular form ... the sculpture armatures. Building armatures can be an art all by itself.
When I undertake the building of a complex armature, I take almost as much pride in the armature as I do in the final sculpture. However, for the more simpler forms, the armatures still play an important function if you are sculpting with a material that needs help in keeping it's form. That's why I make an extremely rugged portrait head armature pictured above that I make available to my customers at as well.