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 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!