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 (https://www.artmolds.com/) 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

Why Alginates are the Best Mold Making Material?

Alginate, a recognized component for various professions and industries, has a special use in life casting. The element is highly employed in the impression-making of body parts. Even though its origin from seaweed might lead to allergies, using good quality products can reduce the odds.

Have you ever heard of alginate? If not, let me start from scratch.

Basically, a naturally existing, palatable polysaccharide found in brown algae is Alginic acid, often known as Algin. It is hydrophilic and when hydrated turns into a gum with high viscosity. Its salts are defined as alginates when they comprise metals like sodium and calcium. It might be yellowish or white color. It can be purchased in various forms like powdered, filamentous, or granular states.

What’s so special about this component?

As alginate absorbs water fast, it can be used as an addition in dehydrated items, like slimming aids, and in the production of paper and textiles. In the culinary business, it is used as a thickening ingredient for beverages, ice cream, and cosmetics, and as a gelling agent for jellies. It is also used to waterproof and fireproof materials. To create a substitute for meat for vegans, soybean flour is combined with sodium alginate.

Alginates are also employed in pharmaceutical processes. Furthermore, they do not interact with reactive dyes and wash off quickly; hence, sodium alginate is used in reactive dye printing and as a thickening for reactive dyes in textile screen printing.

To speed up the healing process, calcium alginate is used in wide-ranging medical goods, including skin wound dressings. It may also be removed more comfortably than traditional dressings.

But, we are still yet to know about the interesting part of its application.

Impression-making in life casting

Well, you reached here; this was the interesting part I was talking about!

For several years, dentists have used alginate as the ideal substance to create dental molds of their patient's teeth. Alginate's ability to be used on skin and its suitability for young people as a hypoallergenic substance is the major factor in the decision to use it as an imprint material. This amazing substance is utilized to create body parts for prostheses, including limb impressions. As a result, sculptors and other artists began exploring the potential of using this mold-building material for their creations.

Although it is one of the safest methods for creating molds and castings of people's body parts, there remains a very slim chance of developing an allergy because it is comprised of seaweed. However, using A-graded alginate like the MoldGel Alginate SILFREE, can reduce the chances of allergic reactions.

Best alginate products for lifecasting

With all the above beneficial factors, it makes a fabulous option for your beautiful artwork creations. Let me present some of the best alginate products offered by the specialists of life casting, EnvironMolds.

  • MoldGel Alginate Traditional Formula
  • Hollywood Impressions SILFREE
  • MoldGel Alginate Traditional Formula
  • BEST BUY - LifeMold Silica Free Alginate
  • Silica free MoldGel SILFREE Alginate
  • MoldGel Alginate SILFREE

If you have been waiting for all this information, I guess you got your answer now. So, don’t lose time and jump right into your first lifecasting project.

All About the Mold Making and Casting Materials

 There is a broad range of materials that can be used to make molds, casts and life casts. Check out some of the options available along with their varying properties and usage in the world of artwork.

EnvironMolds is home to a complete line of mold making and casting materials along with the requisite supplies, tools and equipment. Quality is always a top priority for this leading art supplier which actually makes a difference in the molds, casts and life casts.

Let us take a look at some of the commonly used products:

Latex rubber: Liquid latex rubber is an economical material that is easy to use as well. The molds turn out to be tough, durable and tear resistant. A slightly less viscous form of the rubber is suitable for casting purposes as well. In fact, latex casting rubber is regularly used for making masks and other special effects for films and stage.

Silicone rubber: This is a more expensive rubber but the efficiency and applications more than justify the price. Apart from regular silicone rubbers, there are special formulations for using on the human body, on food items and even for doll reborning. This rubber is again versatile and can be used for making silicone casts as well.


Resin: This family comprises of polyester, epoxy and polyurethane resins that come with their own set of properties and usage. Generally speaking, polyurethane resins are most preferred for making casts. This material lends itself well for cold casting that can replicate the look of different metals, stones, wood, etc.


Clay: Clay is a versatile material if ever there was one. It comes in different types and is suitable for a range of mold making applications apart from other minor uses like sealing edges, making mold boxes and so on. However, artists prefer plasticine to regular clay for molds.


Alginate: This dental impression material is not only safe for the skin but also captures details well. It is the material of choice for making body molds for life casting. Varying set types and times are available to suit different applications. But the molds are good for one-time use as they tend to shrink and have to be used quickly.

Moulage: This is a reusable mold making material that is heated to melt before use. The mold can be remelted and reused again and again. It is skin safe too.

Wax: This is a simple material that can be modeled, carved and cast as desired.

Plaster: This white powder can be mixed with water and used to cast objects. It is widely preferred for life castings. However, regular plaster of Paris is better avoided as it tends to get chalky and flaky over time. Plaster-embedded bandages are also available that can be used to make shell molds to provide support to flexible rubber molds.

Apart from latex rubber and other materials, the ArtMolds website also stocks release agents, fibers, fillers, cold casting powders and more.

Difference between Single and Multi-Part Molds

Making a one part mold is simple and straightforward. However, the technique does not work every time. Complex objects call for making the mold in parts and artists should know how to make multi-part molds.

The best way to duplicate an object or to reproduce it in another material of choice is to make a mold of it. This basically captures a negative impression of the model that can be cast into to make an exact reproduction.

Therefore, it is fairly obvious that making a mold is a preliminary step that serves as the base for building the final casting. Artists try to keep the mold making to the simple and basic by opting for single part molds. This is the easiest method as the mold making material has to just be poured over the model to form the mold. Different types of materials – both rigid and flexible - can be used for making the molds.

However, one part molds work only for simple objects that have a flat side or base. The flat portion can be affixed to the mold box before pouring the mold making material. Once the mold has cured, the model can be detached and easily pulled out of the mold.

Multi-part molds

Models that have complex shapes or too many undercuts make it necessary to make the mold in two or more parts. Similarly, models that do not have a flat base or are thin and floppy or have holes going all the way through them (like a baseball, donut or coffee mug) call for multi-part molds.

The prospect of making such molds is much more complicated and time-consuming. The trick here is to embed half (or a part) of the model in clay so that the mold covers only the part that is protruding outside.

Once the mold part has cured, the clay is removed and a parting line and keys are made on the mold. Provision for a pouring spout (like a straw) also has to be made before pouring the mold making material on the other half of the model.

Once the mold has cured, the mold is cut along the middle or the parting line until the model can be pried out successfully. The parts are then aligned again using the keys and the mold comes together to form a whole. It has to be sealed properly before pouring the casting material into the mold by way of the spout.


It is clear that the procedure of making two part molds is very different and complicated than regular single part ones. However since the simpler process will not work every time, professional casting artists need to become adept at making the multi-part ones too.

EnvironMolds offers all the materials, supplies, tools and equipment for making molds, casts and life casts. The website https://www.artmolds.com is overflowing with step-by-step instructions, tips and other handy information for making all kinds of molds, casts and life casts.

Challenges of Life Casting over Regular Casting

Life casting has the same basic premise as mold making and casting – make a mold of the model before casting into it. However, the fact that a living person is involved makes all the difference here!

Mold making and casting are wonderful forms of art that have practical uses as well. They involve different materials and techniques with the end result giving a very rewarding feeling to the artist.

However, when it comes to a passion for trying something new and feeling proud of the artistic creation, nothing can beat a life casting!

Life casting takes off from mold making and casting itself. However, the challenge lies in working on the live human body! Indeed, life casting involves making a three-dimensional representation of the body part of a person. Here, its not just about getting an accurate negative mold for making a perfect casting. The artist has to make a mold of the model’s hands, feet, face or other part of the body without causing them any harm or even discomfort.

This brings a lot of new dimensions into the picture that have to be handled with infinite care and attention. For instance, mold makers will be careful about not damaging the master they are working on. However, just in case things go wrong, the fallout will not be as severe. Yet, can a life casting artist afford to hurt the model in any manner?

To continue in the same vein, a porous master is sealed with a sealing agent. The mold making material can be applied on it in a random fashion and can be left on it to cure for an extended time as well. The master can be washed and cleaned as desired after demolding the mold. However, there is usually no problem if it is rendered unusable in the future.

The same is obviously not the case with life casting. The model’s body cannot be sealed in any manner. The mold making material ha to be chosen with care. It should not only be safe for the skin but should also set quickly as the model cannot be expected to tolerate the application for a long time.

What about the material snagging in the facial or body hair of the model? What if it gets into the eyes, nose or ears? How long will the model be able to stay stationary and maintain the pose? And how will the residue wash off from the body once the body mold has been demolded?

The challenges are real indeed, but this brings its own thrill to the proceedings. At the end of the day, the satisfaction of creating a lifelike representation of a person remains unparalleled!

For those who are attracted by the challenging buzz of life casting, should check out EnvironMolds. This art supplier does not limit itself to merely providing all the materials, supplies and tools for body casting and life casting. Being passionate enthusiasts about this beautiful art, they are also more than willing to guide and help novices master the tricks and techniques on their way to making perfect life casts!

Difference between Poured Block and Blanket Molds

The uses of silicone rubber across mold making and casting are too many to list. It can be used to make both block and blanket molds. Find out how to make these poured molds using silicone rubber.

Silicone rubber is an inherently versatile material which lends itself well to various applications in both mold making and casting. When it comes to mold making, both the poured block and poured blanket molds can be made using silicone rubber. Let us take a look at both these techniques:

Poured block mold – This is considered the simplest method for making a mold. All it requires is making a containment area or a mold box. For this, the model is first secured to a flat base and the edges are sealed with clay or glue. The walls of the box can be made using particle board, plywood, PVC pipes, etc. These walls will have to be secured together as well as to the bottom of the box before sealing the interior edges and corners to prevent leakage of any kind. Alternatively, the walls can be fashioned with clay itself.

Once the mold box is ready, making the mold is as easy as simply pouring the mixed silicone rubber into the box till it completely covers the model and then some more. This should be done from a corner while avoiding pouring directly over the model. Let it cure proper before demolding by dismantling the mold box and prying the mold loose. The mold will be ready for casting.

This technique does require a lot of rubber but is preferred for its simplicity.


Poured blanket molds This is a more complicated process as it requires constructing a mold shell over the model which will take some practice. Here also the model is first secured to a base. Then it is covered with plastic wrap before applying clay to about half inch thickness. This should be uniform and fill all undercuts in the model. The clay is extended to form a flange and a pour hole is also needed.

A thickened mixture of polyurethane resin is applied over the clay and legs are added that will serve to hold and level the mold later on. Holes are drilled evenly throughout the plastic flange that will help in repositioning and screwing later.

Once cured, the mold shell is demolded and the clay is removed from inside. The model is again glued to the board and the plastic shell is repositioned over it by aligning the holes before securing it to the base with screws. Sealing the edges with clay will prevent leakage.

Mixed silicone rubber is poured inside through the hole at the top. This will cure to form a mold in place of the clay. The mold shell is removed and he edges of the silicone mold are loosened for demolding it from the model. When casting, the mold has to be placed in the shell mold again.

It is clear that this process may be complicated, but will require much less mold making material. The final casting will be easier to demold too as the poured blanket molds are thin and flexible.

Life Casting Finds Diverse Applications

Wondering who will need a life cast and what purpose will it serve? Well, you will be surprised to know the multitude of applications of life casting right from memorabilia to special effects and more.

Life casting is a three-dimensional reproduction of any part of the live human body. It not just captures the shape and structure, but also minute details like fine body hair, skin texture, fingerprints and even the pores on the skin. This is a permanent and durable copy that lends itself well to varied uses.

  • Parents love to preserve a memory of the tiny hands and feet of their newborn baby with a life cast.
  • Many people like to get a life cast of their face or other preferred body part to immortalize their appearance in the best manner possible. While face casting is most common, people also get life casts of their hands, torso, hips, breasts, abdomen or even the full body. Pregnant women often opt for a belly casting as a lovely keepsake of this momentous part of their life. Group castings of hands are common with friends and families.
  • The life casting technique is also used for making busts of national figures and other famous people. It is often used for making human sculptures and wax statues too.
  • Law enforcement agencies use life casting for forensic work like fingerprints.
  • Life casting fits in perfectly for medical applications like making prosthetic body parts for amputees. The missing hand, leg, finger or toe is accurately reproduced with life casting, thus ensuring a perfect fit.
  • It also finds other applications in the medical field, like creating medical training aids.
  • Museum preservation also relies on life casting for various tasks.
  • When it comes to special effects and prosthetic makeup, the first step always involves making a life cast of the face, torso, arm or other body part. The changes to the nose, ears, eyes, cheeks, hands, fingers or feet are sculpted on to the life cast. As this is customized specially for the actor, it will ensure a perfect fit that will be comfortable as well as allow him/her to breathe, emote and move normally. Given the precise conformity with the desired area of the body down to the skin texture, it will ensure a seamless blend with the natural features of the actor. The special effects also look extremely realistic and believable, a far cry from the unnatural-appearing computer generated options.
  • Life casting also makes an interesting and enjoyable art activity for students, parties and the like. Special kits are available with all the requisite materials and supplies which can make for an afternoon of creativity and fun.

When it comes to sourcing quality materials and other requisites for making a life cast, the best source is EnvironMolds. It even stocks kits – like the ever popular Face EZ Cast Kit – an all-in-one answer to attempting a life cast for beginners. The art studio is passionate about promoting life casting and is willing to provide tips and assistance for making life casts.


What You Need to Know About Latex Casting Rubber

Latex rubber is fun to use and lends itself well to varied projects. It can be used by beginners as well as experienced artists. It is fun to play around with the rubber with unending creative possibilities.

Liquid latex rubber can be split into two categories – mold making and casting rubber formulae. While the purpose is obvious from the names, it should be noted that liquid latex casting rubbers are always less viscous than the mold making ones. Therefore, they are preferred for making props, masks and other theatrical work.

As this category of rubber is more fluid, making the cast is as easy as pouring the material into the mold and letting it sit for some time before pouring it out again. This forms a thin skin inside the mold – the perfect way to make stretchable masks, props and other thin rubber items. RD-407 Mask Making and Casting Latex is the preferred product for such applications.

The same latex can be applied on the skin to create varying kinds of special effects. It will dry quickly to form a second skin of sorts, making it perfect for creating gashes, wounds, cuts and even horrifying effects.

Working with latex rubber

Latex rubber compounds are very easy to use as they do not require any mixing or other preparations. Application is direct and simple and the molds/casts capture excellent details to create an exact reproduction.

Latex casts are inherently flexible, more so than the casting formulations. However, the degree of flexibility of the latex cast can be controlled by adding an appropriate filler. RubRfil Latex Mold Rubber Filler And Extender is an excellent product that can make the latex cast turn out to be very flexible or very hard depending on the combination. The following proportions are suggested to get varying results:

  • 1 part latex to 1/2 part RubRfil - very flexible
  • 1 part latex to 1 part RubRfil– flexible
  • 1 part latex to 1 1/2 part RubRfil - medium flexibility
  • 1 part latex to 2 1/2 part RubRfil - very hard

The versatility of latex casting rubber comes to the fore when it is used for dipping and coating purposes. Fabrics can be dipped in liquid latex to make them waterproof. The same coating can also insulate tools from electric hazards. Apart from the protection, the coat also improves grip and comfort during usage.

Latex rubber usually has a transparent or white finish. It can be colored using special paints and dyes as the regular ones tend to chip and crack easily. These can be used intrinsically by mixing in the latex rubber or be painted on the cured latex surface. Varying shades are available.

When it comes to storing the liquid latex casting rubbers, both the material and the molds/casts have a long life and extended durability. However, keep in mind that liquid latex has a fair amount of alcohol mixed in it and should be handled with care. It should be stored in airtight containers and kept away from sunlight.


What You Need for Mold Making and Casting

Making molds and casts involves a range of materials, supplies and equipment. Following is a look at the different items that should be kept at hand before beginning a mold making or casting project.

Mold making and casting are intricate arts that require different materials, supplies, tools and equipment. A lot of details are involved in these processes and it calls for careful and precise usage of the procedures as well.

To begin with, there is a choice of a variety of materials like clay, wax, plaster, alginate, liquid latex rubber, silicone rubber, polyurethane resins and more. The selection depends on the technique, artist’s dexterity and preference. The common tools and supplies range from brushes, spatulas, gloves and containers to knives, rasps, scalpels, pliers, calipers, etc. In case the materials involve an element of risk to the artist, it is advisable to wear protective equipment like gloves, goggles, mask and coat. Some even use a respirator to prevent inhalation.
The mold making usually starts with a mold box and a base plate. The master model is either placed in the mold container or secured to the base with clay or a suitable adhesive. A sealant may be required if the model has holes or happens to be porous. Applying a thin coat of an appropriate release agent is usually recommended as it will help in easy demolding.

Again, depending on the mold making material, it may have to be degassed using a vibrating table, pressure pot or vacuum chamber with pump. This will eliminate air pockets in the material which show up as unsightly bubbles in the mold.

Once the mold has cured properly, the demolding process can involve cutting the mold with a sharp knife, scalpel or using other tools to extract the model from the mold. The mold is smoothened using certain specific tools before it is ready for casting.

In case the mold is made in two or more parts, it will require placing keys that facilitate an easy coming together of the mold parts. If the mold is very flexible, it may even have to be reinforced with a shell mold that is generally made with plater bandages.

The casting process usually begins with applying a release agent on all the surfaces of the mold to ensure easy demolding later. The material may also have to be degassed before pouring into the mold. Once the cast has cured, it is extracted using tools and finished as required.

The cast can even be painted to create the desired effect. Some rubbers and resins require special paints and dyes as the regular ones are not compatible with these materials.

Last but not the least; all the materials, supplies and other requirements – like say, latex rubber, silicone rubber, scalpel, mixer and vacuum chamber – should always be sourced from a established and reliable source to ensure that everything is of top quality and will work as expected. This will ensure best results in the mold making and casting.

The Various Facets of Sodium Silicate

The compound sodium silicate has many applications. While industry folks are familiar with sand molded metal castings, artists prefer to use it to deflocculate clay slip and create antique finishes on ceramics.

Sodium silicate is a simple inorganic sodium salt that is also called water glass. It comes in a flaked solid or powdered form which is dissolved in water to make an alkaline solution.

This silicate lends itself well to a host of uses that are quite varied in nature. Consider this – sodium silicate is equally effective in both treatment of waste water and preservation of foods. It is used in paper and detergents as well.

The same formula can also be used to reduce porosity in concrete, stucco and plaster. Applying a thin coat on masonry surfaces after they have cured will seal the surface, thus minimizing water penetration. In fact, sodium silicate displays excellent physical and chemical properties that are useful in bonding and coating applications. It will dry to form a tough, tightly adhering inorganic bond for metals, ceramics, glass, etc.

Apart from this, sodium silicate works as a deflocculant for clay slips and can also render an instant antique finish on ceramic surfaces.

But the most common and useful application is in metal or foundry mold making applications. A blend of sand and sodium silicate is used to make the mold. the mixture is packed into a core box of the desired shape and wires or rods are inserted as required for support. This is exposed to carbondioxide gas from a low pressure source or esters which induces a chemical reaction that will solidify the core. Once it has solidified, it is ready for use.

These molds are used in the iron, steel and cast iron industry. Molten metal is poured in the sand molds to make the casts.

Where to buy?

EnvironMolds is a veritable powerhouse supplier in the world of arts and crafts. The website is packed with a broad range of materials, supplies, tools and equipment for making molds, casts and life casts. All products are from leading brands with top quality, reasonable prices and environment safety being the differentiating factor across the board.

The repository includes sodium silicate from the inhouse brand of Artmolds. This inorganic multipurpose additive is formulated in aqueous form and can be used for different purposes. It is low cost, odorless, non-toxic, moisture-resistant and non-flammable too. As it is made from sand and alkali, it proves to be ecologically harmless in fresh water environments too.

However, it can irritate or burn the skin and eyes on contact. Observe safety precautions like wearing splash-proof goggles, rubber gloves and coveralls.

The company further advises that the product should be stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area, removed from oxidizing agents, acids, active metals, heat or ignition sources and foodstuffs. It should be protected from physical damage and sealed properly when not in use. If properly stored, unopened containers can be good indefinitely.

The Molding and Casting Approach to Making Replicas

Mold making and casting together form an efficient process for reproducing almost anything. There are clear differences between the two techniques and artists should know the ins and outs of both.

The most common method of making an exact three-dimensional replica of an object is molding and casting. In fact, most of the everyday items that people use in their homes and offices have undergone the molding and casting process.

Mold making

The mold forms the first step of making the replica. This is a hollow cavity of the shape of the model or master that is to be reproduced. It is also considered as a negative of the desired object.

Molds can be made with different materials and there are various techniques for the same. While anything like clay, wax, resin, silicone rubber, polyurethane rubber or thermoset mold rubber will lend itself well for making molds, the general consensus is that molds should be made with flexible materials as this makes it easier to demold the cast.

When working on molds, the mold making material has to be mixed properly and may even require a vacuum pump with vacuum chamber to ensure that it is free of air bubbles.

The best part about molds is that most of them are reusable and can be used for making multiple casts. But keep in mind that while some molds lose their shape quickly and are good for single castings only, others will also have a limited shelf life and will start to deteriorate with time.


While the mold is the first stage, casting forms the final stage that delivers the finished replica of the original model. A casting is usually made by pouring the casting material into the hollow mold. It is allowed to cure and then extracted to obtain the final product. This can be sanded, painted or finished as desired.

Here again, there are different techniques for casting and varied materials lend themselves well for the casting process. Yet, in general, it is better to use materials that cure to a hard form as this ensures efficiency in the process and durability in the final cast. The materials that are commonly used are plaster, gypsum, concrete and polyurethane resins apart from an assortment of rubbers. A vacuum chamber may again be required – especially for rubbers – to ensure that the cast is smooth and blemish free.

As the casting is the finished product, it obviously cannot be used in the process again and again. However, at times, casts are used to make secondary molds as they already hold the desired shape.

In sum, mold making and casting are used in conjunction to make duplicates of varied items. The have their own inherent characteristics and artists have to familiarize themselves with all the features before attempting to use them. These processes can also be used for other purposes like mask making and doll reborning. Life casting also draws on this to make reproductions of the live human body!