Part 4 of the series is here. Previously I made the molds for the eyes, noses, and teeth to add to the skulls, which I plan to cast it in resin to give the overall artwork a 3D feel. So I have survived the painstaking process of making latex molds, now comes the fun part: casting.
I bought this Castin’Craft Clear Polyester Resin from Joanns; I was researching furiously online for which one to buy but as usual there were many many different opinions on which is the best and whatnot. And since this particular one was all they had at the store, and the pieces will eventually be covered up in paint it won’t be showing through as is so there was no need for perfection, I just went ahead and brought it home. Now the label on the back didn’t do much justice on how to use it so I had to look it up online where I got a better understanding of it.
So this little bottle that accompanied the large can is called a CATALYST, an additive that is supposed to make the resin liquid dry hard and hold shaped, when used properly. It required several tiny drops per one ounce of the liquid, and depending on the weather you can put more or less. It was freezing cold at the time of use, so I added few extra drops into the liquid. Initially I didn’t think it was going to be enough, I mean the size difference between the resin liquid and this catalyst was huge, but my worries proved to be groundless. I even had leftovers by the day’s end.
Here is a short video of me mixing in the resin with the catalyst. The instruction says to stir in thoroughly for about 60 sec. so you can really see me mixing it in there. Afterwards I slowly poured them into the latex mold I had made in the previous session. I had to take care not to let it overflow, but of course it’s hard to keep it clean. I got gooey mess on my fingers (should have worn gloves) and on top of that the odor, man I was holding my breath as I was pouring the liquid into the molds.
Now they say it would take about 20 min to harden and dry, but it was cold day, and a cautious freak that I am I let it sit overnight, in the open outdoors as the stench was too strong to leave in the garage, I’d let nature air it out. When it was dry to the touch (not leaving any sticky residue on my fingers) I slowly and painstakingly peeled off the mold from the hardened resin. Too bad I didn’t take video of that; morbidly it felt so good peeling them off, I don’t know why I’m weird like that.
After peeling them off I’d brush them down with some powder to cover up any stickyness that might still remain in the pieces. It took me about a week to make 9 sets of eyes, teeth, and nose with the little sets of molds I had made. I also learned it helps a great deal to dust some powder inside the mold before pouring the liquid, it came out much easier.
Next time I’ll be showing how I put these pieces on the board with the pasted skull. And hopefully soon I will get to the most exciting part of it all: painting!
Have good weekend guys!