Mould Making with Composimold
I found this stuff in a local craft shop, so I thought I'd give it a go to replicate some of my clay work.
First, I made the original Red Squirrel tile using some Fimo Microwavable clay, which means I didn't have to wait days for it to air dry.
Once it was completely dry, I began melting the Composimold in the Microwave as instructed, this seems simple in principle,
stirring every 30 seconds to make sure that it doesn't burn, but I manged to get it all over myself and the microwave in the process.
This stuff is great but a little messy, think hot-glue-gun-glue-all-over-your-hands kind of situation.
Once the Composimold is fully melted it's ready to go.
The original needs to be secured (I used hot glue) to the base of the container you'll be using to hold the liquid Composimold,
then the hot (and very sticky) Composimold can be poured over the original and left to set. To speed up the drying time,
I took the advice I found online and stuck it in the freezer for around 30/45 minutes until it was set back to it's jelly-like, rubbery texture.
Getting the original out of the hardened mould is a bit of a fiddly task, I forgot to add some olive oil to the original so that it wouldn't stick to the mould which resulted in me snapping it in three to remove it fully. Luckily the broken areas could easily be glued back together,
so the original kind of survived the process!
With the original freed from the mould, it's time to add the plaster or resin to make the first replica. I used builders plaster rather than Plaster of Paris for this one, on previous tests, the Plaster of Paris became too hot whilst it was drying and actually began to melt the mould!
The builders plaster seems to set a lot quicker and with less heat expelled and also dries a little harder than traditional art materials,
I guess it's just a more hard wearing and robust material, plus the natural Terracotta style colour has a nice natural feel to it.
The plaster needs to be a thick consistency, so that it doesn't expel too much water and heat when it dries.
I didn't use an exact measure (as usual) but it's easy to work out by eye if you keep adding small amounts of water and mixing in between.
The plaster needs to be poured in small sections, then the mould can be tapped on whatever hard surface you're using to remove any trapped air bubbles and make sure the small details of the mould get fully filled before setting.
Now to wait for the plaster to dry, which doesn't take very long in a small piece like this. I left it a little extra just to make sure, but I found it could be removed within about 30 mins or less. However, this is not fully dry, but the outside plaster has set so it can be removed and left to dry for 24-48 hours out of the mould.
Here's the finished tile(s), It's so easy to replicate stuff this way, of course it won't be as perfect as more traditional and labour intensive mould making methods but I love the results, allowing me to make my clay art more readily available. Another good thing about this product is the fact that it can be re-melted once you're finished with the mould, so it's completely re-usable up to around 35 times.
Let me know if you try it out, or have previously tried working with this stuff before.
I'd love to see more creations!