Sunday, May 9, 2010

Reiner progress

Every time I get to the final steps in getting a sculpture ready for production, I am amazed at how much work there is left to do. I guess it's like giving birth, my brain makes me forget the final tedious steps in order that I may feel motivated to bring more sculptures to completion in the future. After the clay is finished, it feels, well, like I'm done :) Far from it, though. A mold needs to be made from which only one resin casting will be poured. That casting undergoes more sculptural work and detailing, including the time consuming veining process:

This stage can last 2-3 weeks! The casting must be sanded smooth, and any final details or changes must be added before the production mold process can begin. The first step to the production mold process it to protect the master casting with plastic wrap:

Then the casting is covered with a layer of clay that has been rolled out to an even thickness. Once that is complete the seam for the plastic mold shell is added, and it's ready to have the mold shells made:

Once the mold shells are made, the whole thing is opened up, the clay removed, everything reassembled, and the silicone is mixed and poured into the cavity between the resin master casting and the plastic shell. Here is what that looks like when one side of the shell has been removed:

At this point I take the silicone with the master casting encased inside it and carefully cut it out with a scalpel. This is very tedious and usually take the better part of a day to do. For each new production mold, the master casting is set back up with the mold shells and more silicone is poured in. It's very time consuming, but this is how small editions of detailed castings are made :)


Carol said...

Very interesting post! He looks like he's got lightning all over him right now ;-)

Tracy Eilers said...

Way cool!

Anonymous said...

That's quite a job, and also very cool! I always wondered how you went about making all of these beauties.

Becky Turner said...

wow.. its so different than how I make molds.. its like your doing it backward from how I do it.. I clay up the original, then pour the rubber then when all thats done on both sides the mold shell is done..your way looks like a much easier way than how I do it.. the one thing is Im not very good at cutting the rubber apart.. what kind of silicone are you using? is your shell (mother mold) plaster? I have been using this new( kind of new.. ok about 4 years at least) type of product from smooth on thats so easy to use.. and so much lighter than plaster is.. it ends up being kind of like a fiberglass shell in a way but even lighter.. I really like it and you just kind of frost or trowel it on like you would a cake.... and then sand it down some after its hard.. it can get kind of rough feeling.. so I sand down the hard points on it.. anyways I'd love to see more pics sometime of how you make your molds.. when you take the clay off and put the horse in the molds to pour in the silicone.. how do you make sure he is in the center and doesn't shift? where do you or how do you do vents and the pour hole for when you cast the resin? I see you have one that looks like one in the head...the head? how does that work? Im really curious about how you do this more... and thanks for posting this!~ I love when other artists share how they do things like molds and casting or even sculpting! love to hear about others techniques..... and since I make my own molds Im always curious about other ways of doing it. Oh and I LOVE your new reiner by the way! I wish I could afford one... I think he is your best work yet. you just keep getting better and better Sara! congrats on him! Im sure he will sell like crazy even with the crappy economy.
Rebecca Turner