Don’t let Liquid Latex Ever Freeze!

Liquid latex rubber is lauded as a versatile mold making and casting material. Apart from its widespread usage for making masks, props and other rubber skin products, liquid latex is also the material of choice to duplicate architectural details or to cast plaster, polyester resin and urethane parts. It enjoys great popularity as a special effects makeup product too.

What has won liquid latex scores of patrons is its exceptional strength, tenacity and durability. To add to this, latex also proves to be flexible and is quite inexpensive compared to other materials of the same realm.

However, latex users always need to keep in mind that latex should never be allowed to freeze. In fact, frozen latex is rendered useless and should be discarded. There is no scope of thawing or heating prior to use. So, carefully handle your liquid latex during severe cold spells and store it safely in a sufficiently warm environment (around 72°F / 23°C).

Therefore, when you order your stock of liquid latex rubber during the freezing winter months (whether from EnvironMolds or any other distributor), it has to be shipped to deliver the very next day. This means that you have to select the overnight air shipping option for next day delivery. It will increase the freight cost but guarantees that the liquid latex rubber will reach you in good condition just as you wanted!

Check Out EnvironMolds’ New Life Casting Instruction Manual

For all those artists who have been struggling to make realistic life cast reproductions of the human body, there’s some good news in store. EnvironMolds has just launched a new life casting instruction book on how to create front torso castings from live models.

Penned by Ed McCormick himself, ‘How to Create a Front Torso Casting’ is a 48 page manual with step-by-step instructions on everything from the materials required for making a front torso life cast to the requisite pre-molding and pre-casting preparations. The book will guide you through the minutiae of how to prepare the model and how to apply the mold making material and finish it off with plaster bandages. You will understand the intricacies of demolding the mold from the model’s body and then making the final cast using plaster or silicone rubbers. Once you learn how to finish the casting, a beautifully artistic front torso casting will await your eyes!

Apart from the life casting tutorial, this helpful guide also contains useful information about how to find, hire and work with life casting models. Compensation suggestions and a bonus model release form are also included in the book. You can easily check out the e-book on the ArtMolds blog before purchasing it for $19.95 from Amazon or MagCloud.

The book is especially useful for passionate life casters who find it difficult to attend EnvironMolds’ life casting workshops

Easy Fixes for Minor Life Casting Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. And most mistakes can be fixed. However, when it comes to taking molds from the human body and making a life cast, I always thought that there is no scope for blunders.

No matter how carefully I applied the alginate on my model, demolded the mold from the body and made a plaster casting, something always went wrong and I had to start all over again. My mistakes were proving very costly and also chipped away at my passion for life casting.

It was only recently when I came across some instructional material from EnvironMolds that I realized that many of my mistakes can actually be corrected! Accomplished life casting practitioner, instructor and author, Ed McCormick assures all readers that most beginners will tend to make mistakes during the mold making, casting and life casting processes.

He offers various studio tips and tricks for both fixing small errors as well as avoiding blunders in the future. He even provides his hotline and toll-free numbers where he is available for direct one-on-one assistance for any kinds of issues.

Ed McCormick reassures that mistakes are normal even for experienced artists and drives that the lapses should not deter us and we should continue to practice the art with confidence and take pleasure in our completed works.

So don’t fret over those tiny mistakes….. After all we are only human!

Save Yourself From Risk of Solvents with SOLSYL

As a mold maker and casting artist, I use all kinds of solvents in my art studio. While I don’t need a solvent for making a latex mask from liquid latex rubber, most other silicone rubbers and polyurethane resins necessitate mixing, dissolving or thinning with a solvent. In fact, the mold making or casting material becomes usable only when it forms a solution with the solvent.

Apart from this, I regularly use organic solvents like acetone and turpentine to remove spilled paint/silicone and clean brushes, tools and even my hands. While I am extremely careful that these solvents should not be swallowed or come in long-term contact with my skin, I was totally unaware of the potential risks from inhalation!

Recently an artist friend alerted me that organic solvents turn poisonous when inhaled in sufficient quantity or constantly and can even lead to brain damage. I was quite horrified until I came across ArtMolds’ SOLSYL Silicone Solvent.

This multipurpose solvent is VOC free which means that there is no potential risk from skin contact
or inhalation. It evaporates rapidly and is safe for the environment. Moreover, it does not have a strong odor like other traditional solvents. To add to this, it can be safely used on various types of surfaces – will not damage plastic, rubber or vinyl.

Now I can safely use SOLSYL solvent in my studio for various purposes – right from thinning silicone rubber and cleaning spills to the process of enlarging and shrinking silicone molds.

Water Glass Works as an Effective Deflocculant too!

I always thought that water glass or sodium silicate is mainly used for making sand mold castings and getting an antique finish on ceramics. I had vaguely heard that it works as a high temperature adhesive too, but was not aware of its binding and sealing properties.

However, it was only when I started working on clay slips for ‘gluing’ my clay pieces together, that I came to know that the same sodium silicate is the most powerful, economical and commonly used deflocculant for clay.

Sodium silicate will work to thin the clay or reduce its viscosity by dispersing its particles. This allows the slip to be produced with minimum water so that drying shrinkage can be curtailed as much as possible. This may sound hazy, but the simple effect is that sodium silicate works like magic! You have to see it to believe it.

However, you need to keep in mind that after a point sodium silicate starts having an opposite effect, i.e., it actually makes the clay thicker or flocculates it. This is why you need a precise formulation of clay, water and water glass, with the latter never exceeding0.5% of the entire formulation.

If you are wondering where to source this clay slip deflocculant, just turn to EnvironMolds. This leading manufacturer and supplier of all kinds of mold making and casting products and equipment also offers the versatile ArtMolds Liquid Sodium Silicate to suit different applications.

Water Glass Works as an Excellent Adhesive

You couldn’t be more mistaken if you thought water glass – aka sodium silicate – can be used only for sand mold casting or metal mold making. While you may have heard that sodium silicate is often used to create an antique patina on ceramics, not many people know that it works as an excellent high temperature adhesive as well.

Indeed, the binding properties of sodium silicate make it an effective adhesive for bonding and coating applications. All you have to do is apply a thin layer of water glass on the surface or between two materials and let it dry. The liquid will react under acidic conditions and form a hard glassy gel after drying. This functions as a tightly adhering bond that is rigid, resilient, odorless, non-toxic, moisture resistant, non-flammable and resistant to high temperatures. It is also one of the most low-cost adhesives available!

Sodium silicate can be effectively used to bond different materials like metals, concrete, plaster, paper, glass, fiberglass, ceramics, and even refractory materials. Besides this, it works as an effective sealer for plaster and cement, and makes the surfaces where it is applied water repellant as well. It is a cheap and effective sealer for all types of concrete surfaces making them impervious to water and other liquids;think garage, shed and basement floors.

If you are wondering where to source this high temperature adhesive, just turn to EnvironMolds. This leading manufacturer and supplier of all kinds of mold making and casting products and equipment also offers liquid sodium silicate for varied applications like ceramics, metal mold making, concrete and plaster sealing, and adhesives.

How to Bind Sand Molds?

Mold making does not necessarily require specialized materials like alginate, clay, ceramic, polyurethane resin, silicone rubber or latex rubber for capturing the details of an object in molds. Even sand can be used to make molds of your choice.

Sand molds are paticulary useful in foundry casting as they can withstand the high temperatures of molten metals. However, regular sand will not do. You need fine grained sand for making sand molds – a 100 mesh is used to strain the sand particles.

This brings us to the question – while the fine sand can be poured into or around an object before being compacted to capture its shape and details, how will the sand particles harden and solidify to form a usable mold?

Well, the compound sodium silicate or water glass is used as a binder to glue the sand particles together.It is added to dry, clean sand and mixed.You can either mix by hand in a small container or use a sand mill for larger quantities. The mixture has to be cured with carbon dioxide gas which will activate the water glass to bind and set the sand.

You can always use ArtMolds Sodium Silicate solution that is available by both pints and gallons. All you need is 3% - 4% by weight. This is a high strength binder and will make the sand molds extremely strong and resilient.

Sand molds are normally used in manufacturing industries for casting metal objects. Molten metal is poured in the sand molds and solidifies to form the final object!

Why I particularly Like Silicone Rubber!

Of all the mold making materials, I really like silicone mold rubber for my mold making and casting works. Silicone rubber is definitely a very versatile material as it can be used to reproduce almost anything.

The molds come out very detailed as silicone is primed to capture the minutest of details in full clarity. They are flexible and can be used as you wish. Apart from being easy and safe to use, silicone rubber molds turn out to be quite long lasting. You can continue to use the same mold for reproducing casts again and again which kind of puts paid to the higher cost of silicone rubber.

What’s more, the same silicone rubber compound can double up for both mold making and casting works. Indeed, the same silicone can be used for making casts as easily as for molds! However, the only point is that as silicone does not stick to anything apart from itself, I do not prefer to make silicone molds and casts of the same object!

Of all the varied silicone mold rubbers available in the market, my particular favorite is the Five Minute Molding Putty offered by the house of EnvironMolds. The product stands up to its name as I can make a traditional silicone mold or cast very quickly and easily, that too without using a box. I use it often for making quick impressions and also for food molds as it complies with FDA standards.

Enjoy mold making and casting!

The ArtMolds Collection!

You couldn’t be more mistaken if you thought EnvironMolds was just about supplying art materials for making quality latex molds, plaster casting or life casting along with the tools and equipment needed for them.

EnvironMolds truly supports art and artists in every sense of the word. The company, under the aegis of noted life caster, Ed McCormick, does everything from providing instruction materials and organizing workshops to spreading awareness about the beautiful art of life casting.

In a bid to support fine life casting artists and build confidence in their abilities, EnvironMolds makes selective purchases from the artists’ life casting works and displays them in ‘The ArtMolds Collection’. Some of the artists whose works are currently on display are Jamie Brick, Roy Butler, Brent Cairns, Richard Tilloston, Seth Wolfson, MurSyeir and so on.

Their beautiful works like the Brennangel, Bisque Torso, Within Reach, Half Time, Metro Man and Communion occupy pride of place along with McCormick’s own works like the Las Crusix. You will be pleased to know that most of these works have been created (at least in part) by using the studio quality products manufactured and sold by ArtMolds.

Anybody can log on to the ArtMolds website and view these amazing works in ‘The ArtMolds Collection’. For those who want to know more about a particular artist, helpful links are provided to every artist’s website and his other works, wherever available. Viewers can also click on the pictures of the life casts to view the creation in all its beauty!