Time to open the mold & start to mass produce those dolphins.
First job to remove ALL the box'ing that was made to hold the wet plaster in place until it dried.
Now BEFOR you attempt to open the final plaster mold casting 'if' you used a wax releasing agent as i did then here is a simple trick. Place the entire 'un-opened' mold on a radiator & leave the whole thing until it gets HOT, not so hot you can't hold it, but hot enough to melt the wax inside. This will also melt the wax into the plaster more than the dolphin being copied (or what ever your making) since the plaster is MORE absorbant because the dolphin is covered in varnish NOW you see WHY i covered the dolphin master form with varnish. I did it so when i heated the mold up the wax would be pulled into the plaster & NOT the dolphin.
You MUST pull the dolphin (or YOUR project your making) from the plaster cast mold 'EVENLY & SLOWLY'. I rushed it & it cost me some damage to the mold. BOTH sides of the final mold not shown so clearly in these terrible pictures, the mouth & nose lines have been torn away. I can repair this how ever using my dragon skin (bone mix) later for the final form casting from this mold.
I also i discovered did not remove enough of the wax from the 'female key holes' either. I won't be using these to make my copies, but i did want to show you how they worked. Oh well a deserved lesson taken i suppose.
Now before i make my paper strip copies i have another trick to show you. I have painted the inside of BOTH halves of my plaster mold with silver spray paint (high chrome). You can use any colour you like but make it glossy or smooth metal finish. WHY? Simply because the plaster is going to keep absorbing the wax releasing agent. IF i were using a high quality fine grade sculpting plaster designed epecially for this task then i could get around one hundred copies from any quality made mold. This is only cheap 'finishing plater' purchased from any high street general supplier. The type of plaster that goes on dry walls last to give the plaster that smooth finish - 'finishing plaster'. I rebuilt the damaged area before adding the spray paint of course.
Again i coated the inside of the mold with wax as a realsing agent.
Then added a few layers of paper strips. Between 6/8 layers in all.
Had i made a better job of the 'keys' i could have simply put these together whilst still wet, added some weight to the mold as they dried to fix the two halves together. The most of the building work would have been done for me when they dried leaving me with a quick trim job. Or by adding pulp into both halves again putting the mold halves together & again adding weight until dry. They will dry faster exposed to the air this way though however, so i opted for this method.
Once dry it's time to remove the 'new' copied paper dolphin sections.
Once agan i was too heavy handed & i pulled the paper copy out too harshly. Yes once agan i tore the mouth details 'off' the mold... Insert your own version of profanities i used here chances are i used every type there was so your bound to guess right!.
At least my paper strip copies came out perfectly.
Do NOT make these too thick with paper strips or you will have to struggle with a sharp craft knife to trim them. Because i only used a few layers of strips trimming these was easy using scissors. They WILL be thick enough & strong enough even at around 1mm to with stand being handled. Even when you rub down the 'bur' (the raggy edges) before joining the two halves.
Now whilst holding the two halves together simply fix them in place with small strips of paper & glue.
A final smooth down by hand & then the first dolphin is ready for it's fins & tail added once dry.
Finally dried here is the original & the NEW copy. They will STILL need to be patched up & finished off in dragon skin for a truely smooth finish of course before painting & sealing with varnish for use in my water feature (with real water), but now i can make perfectly shaped dolphins at leisure & not have to worry about sizes & shapes being off.
Below are some pictures of the first dolphin with the fins added now waiting to be painted with dragon skin to finish it off. Ignore the stick stand it was only added to allow me to take the pictures. It is NOT part of the finished sculpture.
The video to this stage is NOW in the links list at the bottom of this page.