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Topic: Mold Question  (Read 643 times)
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SecretAgentStarchild
« on: April 13, 2007 12:03:00 PM »

This is my first time attempting to create ANYTHING out of class, so I wanted to ask for some advice. I am interested in creating a mold for a pendant that I wish to create. I heard that the Sculpey Bake and Bend was really nice for creating a double-sided mold, which is what I want to do. However, I couldn't find anything less than a massive kit for twenty bucks, when I only really want a couple of ounces of the clay.

So I wanted to know if creating a mold out of regular polymer clay would work just as well. And if that does work, is there any sort of tips that one might need in order to get the clay out of the unflexible mold without distorting any of the details? Is there anything that I should spray into the mold so that the clay will not stick, but pop out easier?

Any help that you might have would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

- Shame

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kishcrafts
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2007 01:35:34 PM »

I have made molds out of regular polymer clay and I use baby power as a mold release. hth!
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2007 05:58:14 PM »

i prefer cornstarch or baking powder, it seems to come off easier
is just as cheap (and i usualy have one of those on hand)
make sure you do it lightly, too much and it can fudge your details

the flex clay works amazing for molds, but you need to make sure your clay isnt sticky or too warm (i've been having issues with that latly) refrigerator works for that prob
in fact, you can pop a mold in the freezer or fridge before you try to take something out if your iffy about it, it just pops right on out!

kato just came out with a new relese agent for use with clay/clay molds,
its called repell gel, and its like a couple bucks
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007 05:59:49 PM by zkitten » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Diane B.
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2007 09:49:27 AM »

There are loads of things that can be used as releases in polymer clay molds (flexible from MoldMaker or Bake and Bend, or rigid from regular polymer clays). Some will work better for certain clays, or certain situations though (e.g., wanting to use a liquid finish afterward).

It's also possible not to use a release at all in many cases by just knowing the right "English" to put on pressing in and removing the clay, ways to make the mold, or other techniques such as cooling in the freezer or removing with BluTac or overfilling or underfilling, etc.

In addition to Moldmaker and Bake and Bend, there are also other things to make molds for clay out of which will be somewhat to very flexible.  The 2-part silicone putties are fabulous and make very smooth molds, and though not cheap, not bad if your things are small or if you need to make many copies of something.  Other materials can work as molds too, like some glues, plaster, papermash/paperclay, depending on the surface smoothness, etc., needed.

Check out this page at my site for loads of info on all those things, making and using molds (with clay and for clay):

http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/molds.htm
(there's also info there about making "two-sided" molds if you want to do that)

You might also want to check out this previous post here with photos of some of the clay molds and casts I've made (and even one made from a block eraser):

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=101292.0


HTH,

Diane B.
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SecretAgentStarchild
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2007 10:38:10 AM »

Wow, thank you guys! I think you might have saved my sanity, trying to come up with workable molds. I have my mold made, created out of regular polymer clay, and so far, it looks good. Just have to try to get my clay OUT of the mold without smearing everything to death. I'll give the freezer idea a try, and then I'll try to find some cornstarch.

I do have one more question about making molds. See, the mold that I want to make does not have a physical object to base it on. I cannot press it into the clay to make a mold, I have to create it myself. Now, I have one finished, but it took forever and I could not get all of the details right, so I want to try again. To create a mold from scratch, someone told me to try to carve it out of already baked clay. I've seen this work beautifully for several people, but I cannot achieve their level of detail. So I tried to make it out of soft clay. Again, I wasn't able to get as many details as I would have liked, and the surface was not very uniform. What way is the best to create an intricate mold (a medallion pendant, actually)? Are there any tips if using soft clay or carving it out of baked clay?

Again, thank you for any advice that you could send my way!

- Shame
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Diane B.
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2007 10:55:04 AM »

Quote
Just have to try to get my clay OUT of the mold without smearing everything to death. I'll give the freezer idea a try, and then I'll try to find some cornstarch.

Don't forget that the brand of clay can matter too... the clays that are softer when raw (Sculpey, Fimosoft) will be harder to get out of a mold under the same conditions than Premo, FimoClassic, or Kato would.

Quote
I do have one more question about making molds. See, the mold that I want to make does not have a physical object to base it on. . . . So I tried to make it out of soft clay. Again, I wasn't able to get as many details as I would have liked, and the surface was not very uniform. What way is the best to create an intricate mold (a medallion pendant, actually)? Are there any tips if using soft clay or carving it out of baked clay?

Again, if you're using a soft brand of polymer clay, you won't be able to get details as easily as with a firmer brand. 
Also the temperature affects things too... the temp of the room, of your hands, and of the clay.
Check this page for ways of cooling things off and/or making the clay stiffer in other ways:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/Conditioning.htm
(... click on Cooling Clay...)

... when sculpting, especially when making a model, you can also bake the clay a bit in steps to make sure you don't mess things up... but incorporating the new clay may take some good "joining" techniques:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/glues-Diluent.htm
(... click on Some Bonding Techniques > Clay to Clay...)

You might also want to check out these pages on "sculpting" with polymer clay in general for more tips:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/sculpture.htm
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/sculpting_body_and_tools.htm
(there are other pages on sculpting "miniatures" of various types too)

As for carving baked clay, that's pretty hard to do if it's a 3-D object.  Carving is usually done to create line drawings, etc., in clay, as well as to carve designs into white block erasers, linoleum, etc. 
Check this page for more on all those possibilities if you're still interested in "carving":
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/carving.htm


HTH,

Diane B.


« Last Edit: April 14, 2007 10:57:06 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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