Finishing up the Elsie molds

In the last post, I had pictures of the first large side of the head mold being made. I thought it might be helpful to show the next few steps, since they might not be obvious.

These pictures might be a little confusing, though, because I normally make two copies of each mold. This one is the second copy of the mold, and the other pictures are of the making of the first copy. As I mentioned before, after I made the first mold of her head I decided to reverse the order that I poured the sides.

Elsie’s head mold has three sides: left, right and a gusset. The gusset piece runs from between her ears (like a typical hat piece) down her face and up under her mouth. That piece is designed to break so that the final mold actually has four pieces, but it pours in three. The gusset is the first to pour, and it can be seen in that first picture of the clay barrier. The second piece there is the left side of the face, but for the picture above the second pour was the right side of the face. The left side is the third and last pour.

In this picture above I have already used a planer to clean up the edges so the head can be boxed and the last side poured. Since it is a relatively small mold, I’ve used Legos. I still had to use clay on the right-hand side of the mold since I am going to be pouring directly into the opening at her neck. Since that cut is not straight (making an uneven cut helps to “key” the pieces back together properly), that side cannot be level and must be shaped with plastelina.

Here is the second mold after it was removed from the Lego box. I haven’t yet used the planing tool (left) to level out the other sides of the mold. The top of the mold will still slope along the line of the neck opening, but I will clean up as much of that as possible. It might seem like an unnecessary step, but leveling the sides makes it much easier to stack the molds in the storage cabinet, and it makes it a lot less likely that the corners will get chipped.

Here are all three of Elsie’s finished production molds. As you can see, the head mold (top left) is all cleaned and planed. The smaller mold to the right is her tail, and the large mold on the bottom is her body. All totaled, it takes 19 mold pieces to make her. All together, her molds weigh just over 30 lbs. when still damp.

Now all that is left is the waiting. It will take 2-3 weeks, depending on the weather, before the head and body molds are dry enough to use. That’s when I will know if this set works.

, ,

2 Responses to Finishing up the Elsie molds

  1. Becky Turner October 14, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    All I can say is WOW… I sure wish I cold come and stand over your shoulder and watch you make a mold step by step of the way… maybe a video? so isn’t his mold more pieces now than stormys is? wasn’t his 17 pieces? I just cant wait for the day I have room to do this and get myself a kiln… Id still love to figure out how to do my Antico medallion in earthenware… Id I filled the undercuts somehow while still keeping the feeling of the piece. . Its something I want to try someday.. I have the original sitting here so i can mess with it.. the mold is all played out and I think messing with the original would be best for me.. its sculpey so I can just add to it easily without ruining it… since I wont fire it in the oven until Im happy with the changes to it.. and my mouse sculpture.. I’ll be working on that this winter, to get a clean resin copy I can make ready for a plaster mold… anyways..oh wanted to ask.. did you ever have time to do me a blue green art glaze cat medallion yet? or humm what about orange red yellowish color? lol naw I love blue greens…
    thanks for all the pics and info your posting.. is so inspiring to me.. Im learning a bit as you go … now to remember it all.. lol

  2. Lesli Kathman October 14, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    Becky, you are welcome to come up for a visit. If you bring a medallion design, we can do something like that over a long weekend. Sometimes seeing it done in person is the best way. 🙂

Leave a Reply