Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Male Pinch Models

This year I have decided to work on some small sculptures that I can also make the molds on and cast myself. These would be some of my "pinch models", which are quick 9" sculptures that I make and from these I make my larger pieces. The pinch models help me figure out the emotion and body position of the piece and also the wire and pipe structure I need to support the clay and the piece.
By nature these models are rough and very "chunky" and lack the final refinements and details of the finished piece. But I am fond of them because they are so explosive. In the past, I usually destroy the pinch models when I have completed the larger piece. No more.
I have made the first three male figures out of a series of maybe 6-10 figures, and my goal was to cast them myself in a marble like stone, with a small edition of 6 of each.
You know what they say about the best laid plans. Well, they are right.
I never have made my own mold and so hve never cast anything. I have made wax pieces from of my existing molds, but that's it.
First step is to make the rubber mold around the original clay piece. Piece of cake, I know what they are to look like and I use Smooth On Rebound 25 as suggested. I start by painting the rubber on, wait 90 mins, paint on another layer, wait 90 mins. then trowel on the next three layers (with  the 90 min wait between, a long day). And I decided to make all three molds at once ... save some time. 
Problem was, in the Youtube videos from Smooth On, they did not show me how to make the flanges wide enough and tight enough to hold the casting I poured. So after I made the outside Plasti-Paste mold around the rubber mold (another 1/2 day), I extracted the molds from the original and poured my first casting in silicon, just to make sure the molds held the detail. With the silicon they were perfect.
When I poured the final stone solution, the molds leaked like a sieve. And the powders I used did not look like marble, but bad plaster. 
Time to regroup and rethink this. I went back on Youtube and did some searching and found a couple of ladies in England that was using the same mold making products I am and they made a video showing how they did it. They used playing cards to make their flanges and legos to make their register pins. 
So, I started over,  on one this time, I think I am getting smarter. And it worked. But instaed of a stone, what am I going to make the final cast out of? How about a cold cast bronze, or bonded bronze which will allow me to add patinas like my cast bronze pieces. 
I redid all of my molds and cast everything using Easy Flow Clear with bronze powder mixed in. Then I researched how to get a good patina on the pieces, and I found patina waxes. I did not want to work with chemicals like cupric nitra and liver of sulfer, and the waxes worked great. Instead of leaving the chemicals on for a few minutes, the waxes you leave on for at least an hour then rub off what you don't want. Over the bronze casting I rubbed on a black wax then a green wax over that. They look great. 
    "Inquisitive"         "Loosening Up"            "Success"