As i mentioned in the last post i want to make some smaller grim reapers but i also need some small skulls for other projects too my better version of my soul mirror for one thing seen in my Etsy shop right now http://www.etsy.com/shop/PMSSHOP. To speed creation up i was using two small wax candle skulls for the crude skulls i used before. Saddly one of the candles is no longer useable & one skull to copy from is going to be too slow going as the soul mirror design using this sized skull requires sixteen small skulls alone per one mirror. The damaged wax skull for some unknown reason at the time became stuck in the plaster i was copying it with. Unkown to me these small wax candle skulls are not moulded from a single piece of wax. Rather they are made using two grades of wax. An inner 'blank' skull as seen here:
The outter coloured wax is much softer. A strange way to make a wax candle if you ask me, but then this is not my field of expertise so what do i know. Anyway as it is this is no good for making copies from. I will do something with this one day.
Now back to the process so far. My final skulls will of course be paper mache in construction but i need the skull copies first. So taking my remaining wax skull i brushed on three consectutive layers of moulding latex. You can of course use silicone or any of the other formats of mould making that are available but remember i am working with those who may be working to a limited budget. Here i used a none branded moulding latex & thickner.
On the fourth layer i added an overlapping later of fine cotton cloth gauze shown here:
This will give the latex a little more strength to reduce tearing. Of course if i pourd the project into a boxed off frame i could quickly build up a very thick layer in no time, but i only have a 1 litre bottle for now. So this method (also used in plaster casting) will reduce the amount of moulding latex i need to use without compramising the mould in the end. I then followed through with another five layers of moulding latex.
I did a couple of 'face only' test moulds previously to guage drying times for the thicker regions of latex such as in the eye sockets, around the sides of the skull etc. In the end i gave the mould two full days in a warm room drying time which worked perfectly. Here is the first casting being removed:
The green hue is the fine cotton mesh gauze showing through. As you can see the moulded latex is not really very thick at only 4mm at the thinnest edges & at 6mm at the thickest edges not including the eye sockets of course.
As this mould is so thin it WILL require some kind of internal support whilst not in use especially over long periods of time. The latex WILL eventually begin to shrink as it finally dries out fully & WILL warp over time. A simple soloution is to re-insert the original form that each mould was cast from. This will give perfect support for the life span of the latex mould copy.
Below the whole mould removed:
Moulding latex (especially silicone moulding materials) will release from most raw surfaces (no releasing agent required) easily, wax is one of the best for casting from. Below the newly cast plaster copies:
In the right conditions modelling plaster or casting plaster will be dry enough for you to be able to remove the copies after a few hours. I DO advise how ever you leave your moulds intact for at least twenty four hours when making solid forms as i did here.
The next step will be to sand down the flat sides of these two halves so i can then glue them together to make the full skull. Once i have done that i can then alter the copy so it looks moe like how i want it to be. Whilst i am doing that i will re-use the original wax skull to make more copies to work from.
More on this project soon.