Sunday, January 8, 2012

Demolding, and a New Year in Newport

After you make plaster mother molds over flexible rubber inner molds, it is time to de-mold.

We use a thin, flat chisel to gently pry apart the 2 halves of the plaster mother mold. Don't get in a hurry, just slowly work the blade in different points around the mold and...

...if you didn't leave any undercuts when making the rubber mold, it should come apart without too much trouble.

I use the chisel to clean up the edges of the plaster mold. This is not really necessary, but it makes for better craftmanship.

Before I put on the plaster molds, I used a heavy pair of scissors to cut the edges of the rubber mold. This gave me a strong edge and it makes it easy to pull apart at the shim. I gently work my way around the whole piece, pulling the two halves of the rubber apart.

There are still the first 2 coats of the rubber mold to cut through. I gently pull the mold apart with one hand and use and exacto to cut the thin layer of rubber that is left. You can see the green clay emerging.

When you've cut all the way around, the two halves will completely separate. You can then remove the clay sculpture part. Meg has already started reprocessing the clay into her Heron sculpture.

We clean the little remnants of modeling clay from the rubber mold.

Here is one half of a rubber leaf cluster mold, ready to go to the foundry. They will pour wax into these molds and turn the wax patterns into bronze.

On a more personal note...Meg and I spent New Year's Eve with my old college Room mate, Tom Mitts, who lives in Newport, KY (across the river from Cincinnati). We ate (and ate)...
...and drank...

...and played chess. One of the most enjoyable New Year's Eves that I've ever had. Thanks Tom! (all photos copyright Meg White).

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