A mold is a negative impression of the object you want to cast. It captures every surface detail of the object right down to the slightest undercut or indentation. It is not just inanimate objects either - it is even possible to capture a negative of a living, breathing person before using the body mold to reproduce a stunning life cast.
1. How to make a mold? - Mold making is an intricate art in itself. There are many techniques such as block molds, blanket molds, glove molds, poured molds and more. The making varies from simple to intricate and some can get quite time-consuming. Similarly, you can make the mold as a single piece or in two or more multiple parts depending on the shape and complexity of the object. The choice of mold type depends as much on the object as your own dexterity and comfort level.
2. What do you need? - You have to stock up on various materials, supplies, tools and equipment to make molds. There is a varied choice of mold making materials such as clay, plaster, alginate, moulage, polyurethane resin, latex rubber, silicone rubber, thermoset mold rubber and so on. Each of them has specific features, functions and suitability. You will also need gloves, containers, spatulas, mixer, brushes, knives, rasps and sometimes even a vibrating table or vacuum chamber. You should source all your art materials and tools from a trusted brand and supplier to ensure good quality and value.
3. How to go about it? - Once you have settled on the most suitable mold making material and method, you begin with the actual mold making. You will need a mold box to contain the object and seal the object first. It's better to apply a release agent over the model. Then you have to apply or pour the mold making material all over the object. Technical aspects like spues and keys will have to be considered. The mold has to set properly before demolding it carefully from the object.
4. How to use the mold? - Once the mold has cured properly, it is ready for use. Clean and finish it properly before proceeding to the casting. You have to carefully choose a complementary casting material as the latter should not react or interfere with the mold in any manner. Sealing and coating with release agent follows again before pouring the casting material.
5. If you need help? - Mold making is interesting, enjoyable and even makes for a lucrative profession. You can learn how to make a mold by apprenticing under an expert, watching videos, reading how-to books or even experimenting on your own. Or you can choose to join a workshop that is led by an experienced professional for some valuable hands-on learning.