Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Patina is Added


Here on the left of each sculpture is the casting fresh out of the mold. 
It cures for a day and then I apply the Patina, or color. 
I start by rubbing the piece with steel wool 0000. Then I apply the patina color, black, wait 102 minutes then rub off what I want as the highlights. It cures for a few days then I apply a sealing wax to set the color.



Monday, October 12, 2020

And The Results Are ... Tada


They are perfect. A little rough but this is what they look like fresh out of the molds. 

Tomorrow I will clean them up, then rough them up with steel wool to bring out the highlights and then work on the patina, or color to finish them off.

A good days work. Now to clean up the mess.

The First Casts


These are the first pours of the first castings. I don't usually do three at once, in case there is a problem with the chemicals or temperature I would loose three instead of one. But the chemicals are new and it is morning so I am confident. I did this once before pouring multiple molds at once some some chemicals that were previously opened, and I lost all three castings. The castings never hardened. After two years, I can still bend and twist them. 

The resin I am using is Easy-Flo Clear, equal parts of A & B. I mix a brown dye to part B, stir, add 1lb. of Bronze powder, stir until mixed together, add A to it, stir for 30 secs., I then have max two minutes to paint on the first coat and pour in and slush around the balance of the solution before it sets up. I then mix another batch and fill up the balance of the mold. 

Each mold takes 32oz of resin and 2 lbs. of bronze powder. Then I wait for about 30 mins before I can demold and see if the casting is good. I want to make sure every minute detail is in the final.

Once the casting is out of the mold, it cures for 24 hours and then I do the patina to make it look finished.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Ghosts ... the Test Subjects


These are the product of the final tests to check the molds. 

I have only poured the areas of the molds where I have a concern and to make sure the details are all there. 


They do look a bit like ghosts, only partially there and whispy.

After they hardened and I checked them over, it is time to clean up the molds and make sure they are super clean with no clay or resin residue in the folds and cracks. That will take the rest of the day. 

I will make the  first casts on Monday. Happy weekend.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Oooops. One Bad One


After everything cured until Monday, I started to make test castings. Just to make sure that the molds were good. All of the texture was picked up and the detail was there.

I have one bad mold.

I will spend some time to see if I can save it. Then make another test cast.

If not good, I will have to start over and make the new mold.


Friday, September 25, 2020

Step 2B


All of the coats of rubber mold have been applied and next I mix up and apply the hard plaster shell. Both of these the rubber mold and the plaster shell make up the "Mother Mold"
With the Mother Mold, I then cast all of my pieces. This mold should stand up to about 500 resin castings before I have to make another. Because of the rubber I use, I can use this mold for lost wax bronze casting, metal castings like aluminum, steel, gold, silver and of course plaster. Very versatile.

I have poured the hard shells, wait 90 mins. then I an de-mold the pieces. Separate the hard shell from the rubber mold and separate the rubber mold from the original clay piece. Very carefully so I don't damage the original.
Everything cures until Monday when I pour a test casting in plaster to see if the molds are good. If not, I start all over.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Step 2 - Mix and Pour and Wait and Mix and Pour and Wait

 Now I start the rubber mold making.

First I mix the two mold chemicals together in equal parts, and I now have 8-10 mins to paint it on the clay original before it becomes too thick.





This is the first coat of six. It is important to smear the rubber over the entire surface and with the brush ...  scrub it over every surface, and into every crack and crevice. This first coat picks up every little mark, and in my case fingerprints. This sets the surface texture of the final casting. 

If this coat does not set correctly, I will have to start over but I wont know until the entire mold is done, the ceramic shell is made and I cast my test piece.

Now I wait 90 mins. and add the second coat, wait 90 mins. next coat, etc. until all six coats are done. 

I am doing a single piece first just to get the timing correct with the mixing and coating times, as it is all according to room temp. and humidity. 

Note to other sculptors
No one told me when I was in high school that I should pay more attention in chemistry and geometry and physics classes because as a sculptor I would need to know what chemicals to mix for the molds, castings ... what chemicals to use and in what amount for color patinas and timing of the coats ... how much clay, metal and foam I will need for a piece based on size and shape ... for large sculptures indoors weight of the piece based on lbs./cu foot of the materials bronze vs. marble vs. granite... and the load limit of the floors it is sitting on ... outdoors I need to be aware of temperature extremes to determine which patina chemicals to use ... wind directions and speeds in a normal year for how much torque the sculpture will take and where and how many holes I need to have for the wind to go through ... if in a rainy and snowy environment I can't have areas where the water or snow will collect but will run off...

Tomorrow I will do the other two sculptures together if this one works out well.