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 :)