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Dreamer Mold

Dreamer Mold

Here’s a 41-pictoral review of the large ”Beautiful Dreamer” sculpture’s mold process.  See wealthmoldtutorial for complete mold process.  I’ve learned a few things since the “Wealth” mold and therefore have added new tips to this tutorial. 

Sometimes people wonder how in the world is a mold made.  Well, pics say a thousand words, much better than writing it out, so here it goes…..

Everything's all clean and ready to begin pouring silicone.

Everything's all clean and ready to begin pouring silicone.

Black plastic bag cut in half works great for covering this Costco purchased work table.

The clay trough at bottom holds the rubber back from running all over.

The clay trough at bottom holds the rubber back from running all over.

Remember, those clay bases that the parts are attached to act as funnels when the mold is complete, so make them large enough to hold whatever material you’ll be pouring in your mold.

Blowing the the second coat of rubber into all the detail over entire piece.

Blowing the the second coat of rubber into all the detail over entire piece.

Very important: Make sure the first coat of silicone is blown into all the detail areas and covers the entire piece like a complete glove. I had one small spot on the lounge where the silicone wasn’t there and when the air hose pressure blew onto it, the rubber picked up off the piece! Fortunately I pushed it back down and it wasn’t in a critical area so it’s okay but be careful.

I raised her up with a high base so that I could blow rubber underneath the dress.

I raised her up with a high base so that I could blow rubber underneath the dress.

She still needs several thickened coats of rubber in order to build up to 3/8" or so.

She still needs several thickened coats of rubber in order to build up to 3/8" or so.

Use a thin coat of runny silicone for the first couple coats on the partition wall.

Use a thin coat of runny silicone for the first couple coats on the partition wall.

Cut up the tube of silicone I'd made from pvc pipe into 1 1/4" keys (snaps) or so.

Cut up the tube of silicone I'd made from pvc pipe into 1 1/4" keys (snaps) or so.

Used the internal cardboard from a roll of paper towels for the chaise leg's mold.

Used the internal cardboard from a roll of paper towels for the chaise leg's mold.

I only molded two of the chaise’s legs because my foundry said they could just pour the mold twice in order to get all four legs.

I made registration holes and x marks under the chaise lounge to show where to drill and tap screw holes for attaching the legs. 

Necessary to make sure the rubber is fully cured before proceeding with second side.

Necessary to make sure the rubber is fully cured before proceeding with second side.

The reason for this is because if you have partially cured rubber and you go and add your dish soap or another parting agent and think all is well, not so. Later, when trying to open the mold, the partially cured rubber will have stuck to the other side in places, even with parting agent. All that good work of making a nice parting wall will be lost and you’ll have to razor blade through it to open the two sides.

After applying the last coat of thickened silicone rubber, press the rubber keys (snaps) into place.

After applying the last coat of thickened silicone rubber, press the rubber keys (snaps) into place.

Add a final coat of runny silicone, with no Cabosil thickener in it, over the entire backside but not necessary to go over top of snaps.

The twin towers mold worked wonderfully for the chaise legs.

The twin towers mold worked wonderfully for the chaise legs.

These pics were very helpful when it came time to figure out where to drill my screw holes into the mother mold. I could review the pics and see where I had the registration circle keys and avoid drilling into them.

That really curved/bent over one proved to be difficult to get the plaster/fiberglass to stick at that angle.

That really curved/bent over one proved to be difficult to get the plaster/fiberglass to stick at that angle.

I had to prop up the whole thing so that the bent over mold was at an angle for the fiberglass to not just fall off from gravity.

Ready for me to take off the clay and do the other side.

Ready for me to take off the clay and do the other side.

I use my fair share of snaps but these can be a curse if a foundry doesn't snap them all the way in.

I use my fair share of snaps but these can be a curse if a foundry doesn't snap them all the way in.

First coat of plaster applied and the sheen is slightly there, ready for second coat with fiberglass.

First coat of plaster applied and the sheen is slightly there, ready for second coat with fiberglass.

If you wait until the plaster has no sheen then there is a possibility that coat number two might not stick as well as it should. The second coat of plaster has fiberglass pressed into it. Then the last coat is just a smooth coat of plaster. This helps to keep the fiberglass concealed so that foundry worker hands don’t get a bunch of glass in their hands!

When walls are this wide, I end up making my plaster come out far and have larger walls than needed.

When walls are this wide, I end up making my plaster come out far and have larger walls than needed.

Use whatever you can to prop up and give support to clay walls.

Use whatever you can to prop up and give support to clay walls.

Next time I will make my clay walls only about 3/8" bigger than where I want my plaster walls to extend.

Next time I will make my clay walls only about 3/8" bigger than where I want my plaster walls to extend.

A tight fitting mother mold makes for lots of support so that seam lines won't show on casts.

A tight fitting mother mold makes for lots of support so that seam lines won't show on casts.

Need to think about how the mother mold piece will pull off and where the partition wall should be.

Need to think about how the mother mold piece will pull off and where the partition wall should be.

Use a variety of tools to clean and smooth clay.

Use a variety of tools to clean and smooth clay.

Takes a lot of time to get oil based clay tight and clean against the rubber.

Takes a lot of time to get oil based clay tight and clean against the rubber.

I later removed the wooden support. It was just there because the piece was getting heavy.

I later removed the wooden support. It was just there because the piece was getting heavy.

Front side is all finished aside from a little sanding on edges.

Front side is all finished aside from a little sanding on edges.

All the plaster drips on the duck tape board will come off easily because I first brushed petroleum jelly onto the board.

Nice small section is easy to do. Yay. :-)

Nice small section is easy to do. Yay. :-)

Final coat of plaster is rough with brush lines in it.

Final coat of plaster is rough with brush lines in it.

All smoothed out nicely with a cheap but soft fine hair brush with water.

All smoothed out nicely with a cheap but fine soft fine hair brush with water.

Had to put in a lot of rubber under arm and chaise in order for mother mold to pull off well.

Had to put in a lot of rubber under arm and chaise in order for mother mold to pull off well.

This was the one are difficult to take off of the wax cast that was later poured into the mold. I had to cut the mold under the arm area so as to take pressure off of the thickness of rubber and allow it to pull out underneath the arm.

Only one more large section to go.  (Retrospect is I could have split this into two sections and would have been easier to remove)

Only one more large section to go. (Retrospect is I could have split this into two sections and would have been easier to remove)

After looking at photos of registration keys, I know where to put my screw holes.

After looking at photos of registration keys, I know where to put my screw holes.

Isn't it pretty?  Screw holes have been drilled and she's ready to disassemble.

Isn't it pretty? Screw holes have been drilled and she's ready to disassemble.

All the mother mold pieces came off nicely off of the silicone with snaps.

All the mother mold pieces came off nicely off of the silicone with snaps.

After carefully cutting with a razor the silicone, the original emerges with little damage.

After carefully cutting with a razor the silicone, the original emerges with little damage.

Snap holes can be seen here. They are just right for easy snapping in and out.

Snap holes can be seen here. They are just right for easy snapping in and out.

Plaster is nice and silky with few gaps or holes.

Plaster is nice and silky with few gaps or holes.

The reason the plaster is so nice and smooth is a direct result of putting on a first coat of plaster without any fiberglass pressed into it.

Here's the sculpture's back side in the mold.

Here's the sculpture's back side in the mold.

Mold turned out well, what a relief!

Mold turned out well, what a relief!

I love seeing the face reflection in the mold. :-)

I love seeing the face reflection in the mold. :-)

1 of 5 tells foundry they have 5 molds for this mold.

1 of 5 tells foundry they have 5 molds for this mold.

Molds are all labeled/numbered so that foundry doesn't lose any.

Molds are all labeled/numbered so that foundry doesn't lose any.

Seamlines are very tight.

Seamlines are very tight.

Her seam lines are so tight that  I can’t even see where the seam line is on the shoulder areas and chaise lounge. It pays off to work hard and take your time with making a mold. This mold needs to serve an edition of 50 so I wanted to be sure and do my best!

Hope you learned a point or two, I know I did on this one!

5 Responses to “Dreamer Mold”

  1. Lisa says:

    Thanks for this. I’m a forensic artist, and normally wouldn’t make casts of sculptures, but I’m venturing out into fine art sculpting and need to play catch-up on learning all these techniques. The last time I tried this was in a high school class ages ago, and the results weren’t pretty :^(

  2. Tamara Bonet says:

    Glad this was of help to you Lisa. :-)

  3. dustin bint says:

    Would love to see the process of pouring the first plaster test …. Ive done one recently but it had some problem areas on undercuts etc

  4. Mitch Mitton says:

    Thank you friend, it has been awhile since I made a mold and I thought I needed a erview. I am so glad i looked at this becauce I have never used the ‘snaps’ and over time I have been disapointed with my silicone has alway become distorted because it fell away from mother mold. Do you just pour some silicone in a straw or pvc tube to get them?

  5. Tamara says:

    You guessed it…pour silicone in pvc pipe. I cut a slit all the way down the pvc pipe so that when laid horizontally, I can pour in silicone. Silicone will pull off the pvc without using mold release. Just plug up the two ends with some oil based clay to hold the silicone from flowing out. Can use a paper funnel or a zip lock bag with hole cut on one end if you want to squeeze silicone in pvc. I do it without funnel as well but more messy.

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