Friday, 12 June 2015

Moulding Azucena... Frustration is not the word!

Let me tell you the story of getting my clay model Azucena, the classic scale Andalusian mare I was sculpting, into a waste resin cast... Maybe grab a cup of tea!

I first wanted Azucena in resin form at the end of March. Initially, I bought a skin mould-making kit, where you 'paint' the moulding material onto the model, create a hard shell and then have the mould ready to produce a resin casting from there. This all went well at first, but upon cutting the clay sculpture out, all hope was lost and I simply couldn't get the skin mould back together properly. Next time, I would need to do MANY more layers of silica, but all in all I didn't like this experience!

Feeling already defeated at this point, I fixed her up after having Azucena cut from the skin mould (she had lots of stab wounds and all sorts!) I emailed Horsing Around to see if they could possibly produce a waste resin casting of her for me. All was well and good and I sent her off to them, but she completely and utterly fell apart upon arrival, including warped legs, no ears and her head was off!

I had her sent back to me, where I fixed her up and then I had one more idea to try, and it HAD to work... I purchased some more silica to do a box mould, where I poured it all in and then had to cut her out after. This took a great deal of planning, as I needed to find materials to build a moulding box for her.

This is where I then started to scour eBay for Lego Duplo pieces! I mixed all of the moulding material I bought (I bought a gallon and it STILL wasn't enough!) and Azucena's neck was still sticking out at the top... This was incredibly frustrating. I put in some extra Lego blocks I had into the mix, away from the sculpture, to try and increase the volume. It kind of worked... But I should have had more moulding material.

Lots of learning curves this was, basically. But I will know for next time, that is for sure. I left this overnight and by the morning, the mould had completely set. This meant I could begin to cut out Azucena's clay model. I was worried about the Duplo blocks maybe not being good enough for this task, but I didn't need to be, as I got no leakages.

After lots of cutting, tugging, and perseverance, I finally managed to get the clay original out. But wow, there was literally nothing left that I could recover... So this mould HAD to work.

How scary is that! This was such a stressful and scary time for me indeed! Here are the two sides of the mould I cut. I didn't want to cut all the way through, but I had to, to get her out. She was well and truly stuck!

So... Remember I was talking about her neck sticking out a bit at the top of the mould? Yeah... Well, although it ended up being completely covered, when it came to cutting Azucena out, a large hole opened up in that area and this meant inevitable extreme leaking of resin from the mould when it came to pouring. I had to tape and tape and tape up this mould, and it still didn't work the first time! So much so that I had to wait over the weekend for my new resin order to process and be delivered, lol!

So... On the second attempt, I used even MORE tape (which just sucked, it wouldn't stick, I really had to work hard!) and even cling film to stop it being messy. Honestly, I should have scrapped it and made a new mould, maybe, but hey... It did kind of work, it just meant a hell of a lot more work on the resin casting, which I don't mind, the main thing was that I had a copy of her and something to actually work on again!

If this didn't work... Well... The phrase 'oil beef hooked' comes to mind...!

Fortunately, it DID work!

So... Although this looks INCREDIBLY ugly, I was INCREDIBLY happy that this came out!

Now, this photo was taken yesterday in the evening... This is what she looks like now...

You can probably tell she has no tail... If you can't, well, she doesn't have one! So... I wasn't ever entirely happy with the tail I had put on and I was always going to go over it in many places, change it here and there, it was more of a base I could get cast so I could work on it some more. I also sculpt manes/tails etc. much better in apoxie. So... Watch this space!

She is also only sporting one ear at the moment... This may be zero befoe being two...

Lots to do but YAY! Glad I could share this with you!


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