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Topic: MOLDS (from clay & for clay)  (Read 9745 times)
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Diane B.
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GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"


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« on: June 15, 2006 01:01:44 PM »

MOLDS

for loads more info on making and using polymer clay molds
(as well as using other molds for shaping polymer clay), look on this page:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/molds.htm


These are some of the molds I've made from polymer clay (I have hundreds more  Grin).




Actually, the green faces, the skull, and the pink geometric each show both the polymer mold and the polymer cast or "pull" later made from that mold... there are also two metallic plastic buttons there to show some geometric items that can be used as dimensional "stamps" for making molds.  

Some of the other casts shown were "highlighted" mostly on their upper portions with gold mica powder (Pearl Ex, etc.) before baking (to bring out details)... I intentionally allowed the powder to get on the background areas of these pieces a bit though since I wanted to cover most all of those pieces (but I kept the powder off of the background clay in the lower left, pinebranch cast, per normal).
Casts can also be "antiqued" so that only the bottom portions are colored (with paints, metallic powders, etc.), usually applied, then wiped off the top areas, or sanded off after baking... the skull was antiqued with burnt umber tube acrylic paint, but not that well done).
Casts can also be completely covered with metallic powders or other colorants too Ithe Celtic weave cast at top was completely covered, but it's hard to see).


Polymer clay molds can be made from virtually any item that's reasonably stiff (and doesn't run away too fast  Wink)
... these particular molds have been made by using plastic buttons, faces on toys & little plastic animals, nature items, carvings of my own, stamps, charms, decorative metal beads, etc. ...(actually the bottom right ones were made with a carved white eraser which you can also see in the photo, but they could also have been clay molds and turned out the same).
...Molds can also be made from 3D items, or just from textures --e.g., coarse sandpaper, plastic canvas (blue, above), wavy bottom of plastic box (dark burgundy, above)... those are often used as "backgrounds" or just visual interest too.

Btw, there are various possibile ways to combine polymer clay and molds:

--polymer clay molds can be made with non-clay items
--polymer clay molds can be made with baked polymer items

--polymer clay casts can created from polymer clay molds
--polymer clay casts can be created from molds not made from polymer clay
......these might be purchased molds (molds for candies or cookies or soap, silicone molds, wood molds, etc.)
......these might be molds made by the clayer (from various glues, 2-pt silicone molding materials, crumpled aluminum foil, plaster, etc.)
......these might be "molds" found around the house (the inside of a paint "well" in a paint mixing tray, a teaspoon, etc., anything with a depression and maybe texture in it)

(Most of those would not be baked with the clay, though those that are silicone-based could be. ... those also don't include ways that liquid clay can be "cast" in various molds.)

As for ways to use the casts from polymer molds, there are many!
They can be used just as embellishments and onlays (on clay items or non-clay ones ...too many to mention!), or for making beads (even double-sided beads), or as clay faces for dolls and other figures, etc., etc.  Molded items or molded bits are actually used a lot in polymer clay.

Normally I try to color-code my molds because there are just too many of them to paw through all the time.  So most of the faces are made from green clay, animals dark red, geometrics are often another color, nature items too, etc.   Some of those above are not color-coded though because they were either made before I started adding color to the SuperSculpey I use, or because they were what I had on hand when the molding opportunity struck!  (Some clayers are even known to carry a blob of clay in a plastic bag in their purses, etc., just so they can make a mold from any fascinating shape or texture they see while they're out, then bake it at home.)  
I have so many faces that I even numbered those molds on the back... then I also marked the same number on the corresponding cast for each mold after baking it, because sometimes faces can be really hard to recognize when they're molds (innies).

Generally, releases aren't needed for making polymer clay molds or casts, but it can be helpful in some circumstances, especially when one is new at making and using molds with clay.  
The Polyform and Kato clays work fine with a little spritz or coating of plain water, but the Fimo clays don't like water as much, and for those especially, a little cornstarch (brushed on with a fluffy brush) will work best (talc powder can be used, but sometimes it's harder to get off the clay after baking-- actually most talc and baby powders have only cornstarch in them these days).
If your clay is particularly soft or sticky, you can also put the clay and mold in the frig or freezer awhile to cool and firm it up which makes for easier removal.
  
Molds which aren't flexible at all can make clay harder to get out sometimes too, and for those try cooling, or try pressing the back with a soft wad of clay, or even sticking a pin into the clay kind of sideways to help pull on the cast.  
Using a little less clay than will totally fill up the mold makes it easier to get out too, and will leave a nicely rounded edge on the cast... can be interesting to make a cast of just a part of the mold too by pressing only a little ball or shape of clay into the mold somewhere.
 
Using more clay than will fit just inside the mold makes is easy to get out too.  Then you can either trim off the excess ....or you can leave the excess to create an interesting background "frame" around the molded object (can leave it as is, or trim it to any "frame shape" you want).... then when the cast pressed into new clay to make a final piece, the frame will stay as part of it.  




Diane B.
GlassAttic....polymer clay "encyclopedia"
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm

« Last Edit: August 15, 2009 09:26:05 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
Fiona Fiona
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2006 05:00:26 PM »

That's awesome, I'll definitely be using this info next time I make some molds. Beads made out of action figure faces are awesome, I made some glow in the dark storm trooper ones once.  Cheesy
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"I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart."
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Diane B.
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Posts: 5061
Joined: 01-May-2004

GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"


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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2006 10:54:58 AM »

Quote
I made some glow in the dark storm trooper ones once

Oh, lucky recipients!  (the skull in the photo below was also made with glow-in-the-dark clay... my son and I made skull face rings for all the kids in his 3rd grade class at Halloween one year).

Do you have some molds (or casts) you could show???




Diane B.

GlassAttic....polym er clay "encyclopedia"
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
Avril222
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2006 06:39:13 AM »

wow, thanks for sharing that. i am having an 'aha' moment with this one.
thanks!
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spitbubbleluv
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2006 05:50:12 AM »

Diane B., I know resin isn't your specialty, but do you think it would work with a mold made out of polymer clay?

By the way, your work is amazing.  And so is this new board!  Every time I look at it, I have the urge to go make stuff with polymer clay!!   Wink
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Diane B.
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Posts: 5061
Joined: 01-May-2004

GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"


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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2006 09:56:07 AM »

Quote
Diane B., I know resin isn't your specialty, but do you think it would work with a mold made out of polymer clay?

You know, I don't know for sure if anyone has used regular baked polymer clay molds, but I think it might be possible (with no undercuts, of course)... they might need a release though, don't know.  If necessary, for a release you could try ArmorAll, veg. oil spray, waxes, and various other things suggested on my Other Materials page.

...Using raw polymer clay for the mold might be fine too since I've heard plasticine type clay (the kindergarten stuff) can be used with resin --and plasticine will melt at the temps we use to bake polymer clay, so should be okay.
...Using a flexible polymer clay might work too (baked) (like MoldMaker or Bake and Bend).
...Rubbery plastics usually have a high enough heat resistance to deal with the heat generated when 2 pt resins cure (Rubbermaid things or many ice trays, e.g.)
...And silicone is really great... almost nothing sticks to it!
Silicone molds can be purchased in various shapes, or you can buy small amounts of silicone molding material-- which comes as two putties that get mixed together in equal parts-- the mixed putty is pressed onto an object and cures in 5-10 min.
(...Armorall is also a sprayable silicone.)

Epoxy resins are more "adhesive" than polyester ones, I think, so if you're using one of those you might need a release more, but don't know. 


There's a lot of info on both kinds of resins, plus molds & possible releases for them, and ways to use them, on that Other Materials page at my site if you want to take a look:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/other_materials.htm

(And info about the silicone molding material is on this page, if you're interested:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/molds.htm
click on Silicone --2 Pt Putties)


Quote
. .  this new board!  Every time I look at it, I have the urge to go make stuff with polymer clay!!



Mwa ha ha  Grin Grin Grin




Diane B.
GlassAttic....polymer clay "encyclopedia"
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
little bit'o photosharing: http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/dianeatglassattic/my_photos
« Last Edit: September 21, 2006 03:52:48 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
rockness77
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2006 05:08:14 PM »

Is it possible to use a polymer clay mold for casting resin?
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SoHipBags.etsy.com
Diane B.
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Posts: 5061
Joined: 01-May-2004

GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"


View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2006 11:27:18 AM »

Quote
Is it possible to use a polymer clay mold for casting resin?

Sorry... everything I know about that is written in the post before yours.  Maybe someone else will have tried it though that I haven't heard about.


Diane B.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
chica grande mas bonita
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2007 09:26:22 AM »

Diane--
i have been playing around with casting resin in a 2 part silicone putty mold-- and the cast resin always has a kind of opaque (whitish?) surface where it touches the putty-- do you know anything about this? I guess it may be the kind of epoxy resin I am using, maybe I should try some poly resin--   But super frustrating. 

BTW-- I have trying casting resin in a baked fimo mold, and I could not get it out without breaking the mold-- like Diane said, though, maybe getting the flexible kind of baked clay would work-- or maybe the use of a better release agent with rigid clay would work too. If anybody tries it, make sure you let us know!
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Diane B.
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Posts: 5061
Joined: 01-May-2004

GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"


View Profile WWW
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2007 11:26:29 AM »

Quote
have been playing around with casting resin in a 2 part silicone putty mold-- and the cast resin always has a kind of opaque (whitish?) surface


I don't really know, but a few guesses might be:

...maybe the brand of two-part silicone molding material you're using doesn't give as smooth a surface as another brand? (check my Molds page for info about a number of brands)

...maybe the two-part silicone mold is not reallllllly smooth on its touching surface (perhaps even from your fingerprints when you made it)... the smoother the mold's surface, the "clearer" the cast item's surface should be... mini scratches will create cloudiness on the suface too (so don't scrub any molds to clean, or even wipe out to dry--air dry) (purchased silicone molds are supposed to work great, from what I hear, but they may get those really smooth by forming over shiny metal, etc.)

...don't think there should be a difference between the brands of epoxy resin, or between polyester resins and epoxy resins as far as the touching surface of the cast item is concerned, but not sure
....How deep are you pouring for your cast though?  Epoxies should be poured only 1/8" at a time, but that may be mostly to avoid yellowing.

... be sure the mold's surface is clean of oil and dust (wipe out with alcohol?)

...be sure mold is totally dry before casting in it
.....also make sure no residual moisture in any inclusions you might be using in the resin
...on very humid days, humidity may get into the mix itself??
 
...mix up the two parts of the resin well... not doing so could result in sticky spots, but don't know if cloudiness
...mix up the silicone parts well too?

Quote
I have trying casting resin in a baked fimo mold, and I could not get it out without breaking the mold-- like Diane said, though, maybe getting the flexible kind of baked clay would work-- or maybe the use of a better release agent with rigid clay would work too. If anybody tries it, make sure you let us know!

I don't know for sure if baked clay will work but it would definitely need a release, if so. Some of the possibilities for releases would be:

...Johnson's Paste Furniture Wax** ...wipe on a warm mold
...pure carnauba wax** (not one with "fillers")
....oils, like vegetable cooking sprays (Pam, etc.), plasticizers in raw polymer clay?
.....PVA (poly vinyl alcohol) mold release... rub several coats of the wax into the surface with a soft cloth, polishing between coats ...then spray couple of coats of the PVA (last step necessary?)
....ArmorAll (silicone spray) (ok for epoxies?)
....matte medium (or other acrylics like Varathane?)
....masking tape ...clear tape (where possible)

It may also be possible to make a mold from raw polymer clay, or from kid's modeling clay (the heavy kind), then cast in those (if you try, please report back!).

You might also try getting rid of the cloudy surface after the full curing time is passed by sanding and polishing if the cloudiness doesn't go too deep or your cast is not too dimensional. Here's some relevant info?:
...try sanding with 120 grit sandpaper, then 400 grit... followed by buffing with a buffing compound or jeweler's rouge
...you can also lightly sand your casting, and then finish with a solvent based clear acrylic spray

`````````````````````````````
**although I found this somewhere, maybe for polyester resins though, or some particular situation:
Note: Do not use "Surface Curing Agent" or paste wax type mold releases when attempting to achieve a clear casting. Both products contain wax which will mix into the casting resin and cloud it
``````````````````````````````

Diane B.


 
« Last Edit: October 03, 2011 09:13:09 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
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