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!


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