Using Sodium Silicate in the Art Studio

There is practically no limit to the varied uses of sodium silicate. It can be used in artwork and beyond to aid production in factories as well. The utility value in the studio itself is very diverse.

There are many multi-purpose materials, and then there is ArtMolds Sodium Silicate. This comes in very handy in the art studio as well as in daily life. For instance, it can be used in ceramics, metal mold making, clay slip deflocculant, sealer for concrete and plaster, adhesives etc. It is equally useful in cements, passive fire protection, refractories, textile and lumber processing and automobiles.

Apart from the versatility, the product is also odorless, non-toxic and moisture resistant. The low price further adds to the appeal and utility. Let’s take a look at some of the regular uses of liquid sodium silicate:
•    The most common use of sodium silicate is to mix it with fine sand before exposing it to carbon dioxide. The activated silicate binds the sand to form a core or mold. This can be used for making metal castings.

•    Did you know that you can create instant antiquity on pottery too? All you have to do is brush a thrown ceramic piece with sodium silicate and dry it quickly with a blow torch. The heat will swiftly form a thin skin on the surface while the clay inside still remains soft. Using pressure to expand the clay from inside will cause the sodium silicate skin to crack and give a glazed finish to the ceramic.

•    The same sodium silicate also works as an effective deflocculant for clay slips. Just add a small quantity of liquid sodium silicate to clay and mix it will. This will reduce shrinkage later as you are not using water.

•    You can apply sodium silicate on a model or mold made of plaster, gypsum or concrete. This will seal the surface and control its porosity. Masonry can be made waterproof in this manner as well.

•    A thin layer of sodium silicate will dry to form a strong and rigid bond between any two materials.

You can source sodium silicate or water glass from EnvironMolds website,

Tips for Storing Latex Rubber

Liquid latex rubber is good for use almost indefinitely. However, this is subject to proper storage so that outside air cannot come into contact with the material. Simple precautions will help.

Latex rubber is a natural material that is derived from rubber trees. It is versatile and easy to use. You can use it to make molds and casts or even to create special effects. It is equally usable for making masks and thin skin props or toys as for coating tools or making materials waterproof.

The rubber is available in a liquid form and can be used directly without mixing with any solvent. Simply pour the liquid into the mold and pour it out again, dip the tools in the latex or apply successive coats to build up a thick layer of latex rubber. The latex will be tough, durable and tear resistant even when in contact with abrasive surfaces.

What’s more, liquid latex allows a sufficient window of pot time before it will start to set. You can work comfortably while you build up successive layers of latex on the model or mold.

The latex also has a long shelf life and can be stored for years. It will continue to deliver the same functionality and ease of use. However, it is important that the container should not be left open after use. In fact, latex rubber should be stored in an airtight container and kept away from direct sunlight. If the container is exposed to heat, the rubber inside will take on a pinkish tint. But this still does not affect its workability.

One rule of thumb is that the latex should never freeze as it will become unusable. Special care is required during the freezing winter months.

In case you find that the latex rubber has thickened for some reason, the mixture can always be thinned by adding water or household ammonia. The thinning agent should be added slowly while stirring gently. But do not thin the latex too much as it will weaken the strength of the material.

You will find a wide selection of latex rubber options along with other materials and supplies at EnvironMolds,