Decoding the Benefits of Fiber Alginate Formulations

Alginate is the go-to material for making molds from the human body. But when high tear resistance and low shrinkage is required, it is better to opt for an enhanced version called FiberGel alginate.

Alginate is an organic, water-based material that is considered ideal for making body molds for life casting projects as it is safe for the skin. It is mixed with water to form a creamy paste that can be applied on the hands, feet, face and other body parts to capture a detailed negative impression of the same. These are single-use molds that can be used to make one or two life castings at most before they shrink out of shape.

As we know, alginates are flexible and therefore, need to be reinforced with a shell mold. Plaster bandages are commonly used to form a rigid covering that will hold the alginate mold in place. However, this will work for small body molds only.

When it comes to bigger molds like the torso or full body, higher tear strength is required. Therefore, it is better to opt for fiber-infused alginate instead. These will also capture all the fine details – down to the pores and fingerprints – thus allowing for an accurate reproduction in the final life cast.

How does it work?

Some specialty art manufacturers have designed a special form of alginate powder with additional fiber in the mix. What makes the FiberGel alginate formula stand out is that the fiber matrix in the alginate enhances the strength and tear resistance of the mold. Additionally, it can even hold moisture which delays the shrinkage by a considerable margin. The mold stays soft and flexible beyond normal alginates, thus allowing for additional life castings to be made. What’s more, it prevents runs and drips too. So, it will stay where it is put, making it ideal for vertical section alginate molds. Any clean up that is needed can be easily done by wiping with warm water.

This alginate formulation has been independently tested to be 40% stronger than its closest competing brand! Therefore, it is preferred for professional high-production, high-end detailed E F/X work. The duo fiber matrix system is patent pending.

What can you expect?

FiberGel E F/X Grade Alginate comes in a one pound box. The powder mixes smoothly (avoid using hard water) and goes on easily and uniformly without irritating the skin. It allows an even, creamy, one-coat coverage. For a thicker or thinner mix, simply vary the mix ratio. The mold will set in 5 to 6 minutes to a firm, rubbery consistency. Any water-based material can be cast in the mold.

The alginate works well for everything from small projects such as reproducing an infant’s hands to big projects to molding an entire human body. It lives up to its name in the most complicated of applications, like special effects.

Turn ideas and concepts conceived in the mind’s eye into designs and tangible finished products courtesy the special alginate formulation!

Making Plaster Work for Mold Making and Casting

As we all know; plaster is a very versatile material. A modified version works well for making molds, casts and life casts. The trick is to use the right formulation from a reliable source to get best results.

Plaster is simply a mixture of sand with lime and cement. This soft white powder is mixed with water to create a workable paste that can be applied on different surfaces. It yields a smooth and hard surface finish when dry.

Primarily used as a construction material, plaster can form a protective or even decorative coating on walls, ceilings, etc. The same plaster has found its way into dentistry, orthopedics and other applications. What’s more, it lends itself well to arts like plaster casting, mold making and life casting too!

Indeed, this material can be used to make both molds and casts. Plaster molds serve as the base for industrial applications for making metal castings wherein molten metal is poured into the mold and allowed to harden to form the cast. When used as a casting material, it yields crisp details with an excellent finish. And plaster happens to be the material of choice for making life casts. Be it face, torso, hands, feet or the whole body, the stark relief of a bright white plaster cast stands unparalleled!

Additionally, plaster is infused into gauze that serves well for making shell molds. As the plaster turns stiff on drying, it helps reinforce flexible molds so that they can retain their shape without flopping during the casting process.

Some artists even use the same plaster bandages to make rough belly molds and masks. This captures the basic shape and form of the model without getting into too much detail.

How to use?

Mold making and casting artists should keep in mind that they cannot use regular plaster (or plaster of Paris). This will tend to turn chalky and flaky, not to mention that it fails to hold details well. A specially formulated form of plaster is considered better suited for mold making and casting applications.

Keep in mind that plaster cannot be used directly on the skin. The paste will emit heat as it cures which can even burn the skin. Therefore, it is better to stick to applications on inanimate objects. However, plaster infused bandages can still be used for making body molds.

What is important here is to use the right form of plaster. Take CastRite Art Casting Stone for instance – this comes from a trustworthy manufacturer and is considered the perfect choice for castings and life castings. It has been specially heat-treated and will set fairly hard, but can still be carved and tooled as desired. This fine arts casting stone also holds excellent detail without chipping, cracking or even becoming chalky. The plaster can be used for making castings in alginate, resin and silicone molds.

In sum, indulge in the goodness of plaster, but make sure to opt for the best option!

Delving into the Look and Feel of Cold Cast Pieces

All castings don’t have to look like regular plaster, resin or rubber. It is possible to duplicate a metallic, stone or ceramic effect by using cold casting powders. Even the feel will be very authentic!

Cold casting may sound like a complicated and intricate procedure. After all, who would think that regular resin can be used to replicate the look of metal, ceramic or stone! And the effects achieved are indeed quite realistic and believable. That too, without the expense, risk or other issues associated with crafting the original ones.

But who would think that the procedure is as simple as adding a special cold casting powder to the resin and catalyst!

Indeed, the whole casting procedure basically proceeds as usual. Mix the resin with the catalyst and the cold casting powder – there are options of porcelain, marble, limestone, brass, tin, bronze, copper and even wood. This is brushed or poured into the mold to form a thick coating.

The primary difference is not to fill the mold at one go. Instead, the coating is allowed to cure before backfilling the mold with resin mixed with a filler – this can be fiberglass, steel shots, calcium carbonate or even sand – to get the desired weight. This is the usual process for smaller pieces. For bigger ones, many artists opt to dust, spray or slush the cold casting powder so as to conserve the usage.

After curing, all that is required is abrading or burnishing the surface with fine steel wool. This will remove the microscopic binder to reveal the pure filler powder effect beneath. Keep in mind that tin powder can be used to achieve the look of pewter, aged iron, nickel silver or stainless steel.

What’s more, the metal surface will even tend to oxidize just like the original foundry cast metal sculpture! It can be also be artificially oxidized using patina acids to create a variety of artistic effects.

How does the cast feel?

The best part is that the realistic effect is not limited to the look and weight of the casting. It will even feel like the metal or stone that is being imitated to the extent that it becomes difficult to tell it apart from an original.

The only difference is that it will ‘clink like ceramic’ and feel cool to the touch. Also, it will not take high polish as well as the original. Therefore, cold castings are considered best for cosmetic use. They can be used for making replacement parts and for refurbishing antique items.

When it comes to sourcing the cold casting powders, EnvironMolds is the best resource. It offers a selection of brass, copper, tin, bronze, limestone, pecan shell, marble and porcelain powder 325-mesh that lend themselves well for achieving different effects.

Indulge in the simple and easy procedure of cold casting and enjoy watching the way the replicas turn out looking indecipherable from an original carved from metal, stone or porcelain!

Face Casting Process Decoded for Beginners!

Making a face casting forms the pinnacle of casting and life casting projects. The challenge of working on a living person is amplified by the prospects of covering the eyes, mouth, nose and so on!

There are castings, life castings and then there is a face cast! Indeed, making the cast of a face is about the most complicated and challenging of all art works. But the satisfaction remains unparalleled as well!

Indeed, imagine being able to create a spitting likeness of a person’s face. That too, in three-dimensional form!

The ins and outs

A face casting is just that – a life cast of a person’s face that captures everything from the contours of the nose and lips to the pores and indentations on the skin to even the expression of the person!

The process begins with making a mold of the face. For this, skin safe materials like alginate or special silicone rubber are used. Most artists prefer to use alginate which is basically a dental impression material.

Prepping the model for what lies in store is crucial. The skin should also be prepared by applying a suitable release agent. A fine layer of petroleum jelly is usually preferred as it will keep the alginate from snagging in the fine hair on the face. Go little thicker on the eyebrows and lashes.

The alginate is mixed with water in the requisite proportions before being patted on to the face. It should be applied gently on the eyes and lips with special care not to clog the nostrils. Note that different types of alginate are available with varying set times, soft set options and even silica free variations.

Once an even layer of alginate is in place, it has to be reinforced with plaster reinforced strips. This will form a stiff shell mold that will enable the inner alginate one to retain its shape. Otherwise, it will be too flexible and tends to flop over during the casting process which will distort the final output. The plaster bandages have to be applied while the alginate is damp to the touch.

The process may sound long and cumbersome. While it does take practice, the face mold should usually be complete in about 20 to 25 minutes. It sets quickly and can be demolded simply by twitching the face a bit while inserting a finger from any of the sides.

Once the face mold is ready, making the cast just requires preparing the plaster and pouring it into the mold. The cured cast can again be demolded and finished as required before being presented to the model or put on display.

While face casting is a straightforward process, beginners may still feel overwhelmed with the minute details. In such cases, they can opt for a ArtMolds Face Casting Kit instead. Indeed, EnvironMolds offers the Face EZ CastKit which is very popular among new artists who want to try their hand at making a face cast!

Decoding Casting by Way of Mold Making

The making of a casting has its roots in mold making. We trace the journey of learning how to make a negative mold before progressing to making casts there from. Delightful wonders will enfold enroute!

Castings are a lovely form of reproducing an original model that has captured the imagination or is calling for duplicates. The beauty of castings is that they don’t have to follow the same material of the original. Casting artists have the liberty to play around with the material and can make the cast with different products like plaster, gypsum, polyurethane resin, latex rubber, silicone rubber, etc. What’s more, they can even simulate the look of wood, marble, granite, iron, steel, copper, brass, aluminum, etc. using cold casting powders.

However, it cannot be denied that the base for casts rests in mold making. A mold is nothing but a negative impression of the original model. It is designed to capture the contours, indentations and undercuts of the model in the form of a hollow cavity. The casting material is filled in the mold and cures to form a spitting reproduction of the original model.

The same concept is used to make life casts of the live human body. Any part of a person – from the face, hands and feet to the abdomen, hips, breasts or torso can be reproduced in the form of a three-dimensional life cast. The difference here is that the life casting artist will use skin-friendly materials for making the body mold before proceeding to the casting.

Learning to make molds and casts

It is the quality of the mold that will dictate how the final cast will turn out to be. Therefore, artists have to first imbibe the art of how to make a mold. There are varied methods and materials at the artist’s disposal. A judicious choice will incorporate the right technique with the best material to get an excellent mold.

Here, the artist has to keep different factors in mind before working on shaping the mold making material to capture the form of the model in its entirety. The molds can be made in one part or more. The technique can be block mold or blanket mold which again begets different methods like glove molds, brushed molds, slush molds, injection molds, etc.

There is a need to seal the model, use a release agent and allow for proper setting/curing of the mold. After demolding, both the model and mold will have to be cleaned. The mold may even need to be finished by scraping or adding some material to get the shape exactly right. At times, a shell mold is essential for encasing molds of a flexible nature.

Finally, the mold is ready and can be used for casting. This process again opens a choice of different materials. The casting material is usually poured directly into the mold, but it may have to be deaired first to eliminate the possibility of unsightly bubbles.

The casting is easy to demold and can be finished before using as desired!


From Casting to Life Casting and More!


Casts are a part of our everyday life even without us realizing it. They have many practical purposes and are largely used in manufacturing. Artistic casting draws on the same principles of mold making and casting. However, the intention here is to create works of art that have an aesthetic vibe and look pleasing to the eye. Many of them are mounted on a base and finished with a brass name plate to give a more professional appearance.

In fact, many of the art works on display in galleries are castings. The process starts with making a mold. This is nothing but a negative impression of the final cast. It can be made from an existing master that has to be reproduced. However, all castings are not always reproductions.

Artists often create a clay model of the sculpture or casting they have imagined. This is easy to shape and work on as it can be modified as required. A mold is made of this initial model before casting the same. Therefore, it becomes a kind of secondary casting that will be made in the artist’s material of choice. Casts can be made of diverse materials like plaster, gypsum, wax, polyurethane resin, silicone rubber, latex rubber and more.

It is even possible to make them in metal, wood or stone. This doesn’t have to be the original material; recreating a faux copper, bronze, silver, marble, porcelain, wood or other appearance is possible by using cold casting powders.

Therefore, casting is an artist’s haven that becomes an extremely creative medium even as the results are satisfactory and even extraordinary at times!

Making life casts possible

Casting is not limited to inanimate objects alone. Innovative artists have extended this medium to making three-dimensional reproductions of humans as well. Life casts of the hands, feet, face, torso are very popular and are used in many ways to commemorate or capture life events. Group castings are also created with couples, parent-child, friends and the like.

As mentioned earlier, the technique is similar – first make a mold of the part of the body that is to be life cast. The difference here is in the level of care and attention as a living and breathing person will be involved. The model has to be prepped for the session and the materials should not harm him/her in any manner. Alginate and skin-safe silicone are the best materials to use here.

Once the body mold is ready, casting is quite a straightforward process. It is usually made of plaster that can be finished and displayed as required. Life casting artists proudly finish their creations with name plates engraved with the details of their work!

EnvironMolds ( is a one-stop shop for everything to do with mold making, casting and life casting.

All You Need to Know about the Flexible Silicone Paint


Silicone paint is an amalgamation of silicone and oil-based paint. One of the most important characteristics of this paint is flexibility. Yes! You read it right. It is the presence of silicone powder, a flexible component, which makes the paint supple. Apart from that, other ingredients include silicone oil, silicone resin (a polymeric inorganic compound), etc.

You can find this paint in wide-ranging color varieties and is mostly applied to coat or decorate a surface. It, being masonry paint is possible to apply onto preexisting silicone-based or mineral base render and obtain great results. It is impervious to pollutants, very permeable, and hydrophobic. These silicone paint characteristics examine how well-suited it is for usage in a humid atmosphere at home. It is resistant to extreme heat and hence, can be effectively used on heaters, electrical insulations, smokestacks, and stoves. Also, in order to set the paint, it requires high-temperature heat and is highly defiant to chemical attack.

Uses of silicone paint

These paints are highly suitable for silicon substrates like phones, copying machines, laptop keypads, telephones, remote control, and numerous other home appliances. Moreover, silicone products can be decorated too, such as tubes, mobile covers, tableware, sound cases, silicone parts, seal kits, and many more. This is because silicone-based paint always requires a silicon surface for the property of adhesion to act.

Another significant application of silicone-based paints can be seen in manufacturing and consumer markets. Coatings made of silicone are employed in a diverse range of industrial processing processes. For instance, tire producers utilize silicone-based coatings to ensure quality through consistent molding yield performance. For the shipping sector, paints with silicone additives improve vessel efficiency by increasing speed and reducing fuel consumption and do away with the need for conventional antifouling paints made of harmful ingredients. Silicones are used by manufacturers of industrial paint to increase adhesion, waterproofing, and durability in harsh environments.

From technological fabrics to airbags and leather goods, silicone coatings are used in a wide range of consumer products and purposes to give them the necessary properties for every product, also, the desired look and feel.

Characteristics of silicone-based paints and coatings

Paintings and coatings made of silicone maintain surfaces, add functionality, and enhance their aesthetic appeal. They are preferred over other substances due to their technical, mechanical, and flexible qualities:

  • Supplied in a variety of forms, including liquids and elastomers, they are simple to apply and are suitable for a wide range of purposes.
  • Complies to satisfy customer demand and industry norms, that is, products must be secure and non-toxic
  • Resistance to weather elements
  • Non-sticky
  • Able to withstand harsh chemicals and environment
  • Water-resistant

Which silicone-based pain to use?

Cirius silicone paintsoffered by EnvironMolds, is top-notch quality silicone paint. The product can be used on both platinum and tin-based silicone surfaces. Available in ten different colors, including Quinn Blush and many quantities, this silicon dye is availed by artists and professionals from all over the world to enhance their work of creativity. Therefore, it is the most favored silicone dye for globally recognized A-graded projects and assignments.

For more information, contact EnvironMolds, LLC.

Phone: (866) 278-6653