I have utilized a variety of mold making techniques at various times in my work, and choosing the right process and mold material was a key factor in achieving a successful result. Sometimes success, however, is the result of timing and circumstance. When preparing to cast some square reliefs made out of Klean Klay (a great sulfur-free non-hardening modeling clay but, sadly, the company has gone out of business...*see below), I decided to utilize mold material left over from a previous project. The material is called Rebound 25 Silicone Rubber and is a product of the Smooth-On Company. It is normally used as a brush-on product, but, since I had it, I decided to try pouring it as a block mold. My goal was to make multiple casts in plaster of my original four Klean Klay designs, and then arrange the units in varying pattern combinations. The Rebound 25 proved to be a good choice. The silicone rubber and its flexibility allowed for easy removal of casts, and the casts themselves were of uniform consistency. The molds have proven to be extremely durable - I have made over 75 units with no change in the quality of the castings. Two of the finished pieces, 'Circle'n Square... Daylight' and 'Circle 'n Square... After Dark' will be going to the River Arts Gallery 'Black, White and Gray' juried show that I mentioned in my 12/5 blog entry.
*Found the following possible Klean Klay substitutes online... Van Aken's Klean Klay Alternative (at American Fine Arts Supplies) and Sculptex Modeling Clay (at Reynolds Advanced Materials). Both come in 1 pound blocks and in 3 different hardnesses. Comparably priced. Have not personally tried either of these yet.
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Cynthia Smith, Maine artist, originally from Connecticut. Taught art at secondary level for 35 years, retired in 2004. Sculpts in bronze, wood, stone, clay & plaster. Her work can be seen at several mid-coast Maine galleries and shows.