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Topic: Can I use Polymer Clay as a mold?  (Read 1080 times)
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« on: December 01, 2010 10:36:56 AM »

I've been creating molded crayons for a while now. I've been using silicone molds, but I would like to expand to original designs to hopefully start a business. I was wondering if I could make a figure out of polymer clay, bake it, and then make a mold or two from the figure. My question is, will a baked polymer clay mold hold up to hot crayon wax? I have no idea how hot the wax gets.... should I stick a thermometer in the next batch?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2010 04:26:33 PM »

It will hold up, but releasing could be a major problem.
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2010 09:32:10 PM »

I know Sculpey makes a kind of polymer clay specifically for mold making. It works best to chill it in the fridge for a few minutes before pressing your figure into it. Otherwise...I don't know if it would hold up to melted wax or not. I mean, it doesn't take a lot of heat to melt wax anyway...could experiment and see, I guess!

Ditto about the release. If you have problems with that, try  experimenting with different release agents- i.e. coating the mold interior with soft soap, talc powder, and other substances.

Diane B.
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GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"

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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2010 10:53:50 AM »

Polymer clay will definitely make molds (the regular polymer clays or the flexible polymer clays).
But due to the release situation for wax** you may want to stick with making your model from polymer clay (and baking it), then use that model to make your mold using a 2-part silicone putty.  There are various brands of 2-part silicone putty, some "better" than others, but you'll end up with a flexible mold (even one with undercuts or possibly whole 3-D molds) that almost nothing will stick to since it's silicone.

You can check out various brands of the putty on this page at my site, and how to use them in general:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/molds.htm (click on the sub-sub-category called 2-Part Silicone Putties)
There's also info on that page re making molds from polymer clay, including 2-part molds, and on using other materials to make molds that can be used for polymer clay.

**Various releases might work, but don't know for wax (and wax is a release for some substances to complicate things).  Water, glycerin, cornstarch/baking soda/ metallic powders, etc, and things like Repel Gel (or "cyanoacrylate debonder" which is the same thing) are often used, but for more info on those, see:
...the Releases category on that Molds page above
...the Glues page http://glassattic.com/polymer/glues-Diluent.htm, and click on Superglue Solvents
(ArmorAll is very good as a release too --it's basically liquid silicone-- but can also keep some things from sticking later, etc.  Don't know if it would be a problem for functioning crayons.)

Diane B.
P.S.  For some regular polymer clay molds, see this previous thread perhaps too:

« Last Edit: December 02, 2010 11:12:56 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
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