For some reason, I thought I had taken that needed day already to finish up the last of the models. It wasn’t until moulding time that I realized I hadn’t. So my week of mould making was interrupted with what turned out to be two plus days of remodelling.
This group of moulds is a far cry from the ‘perfect’ piece moulds to which I used to aspire. All those days I used to spend in the pursuit of ideal ninety degree seams. There were all those carefully considered clay buildups, all those individual batches of plaster to deal with. Sure those moulds were made to last but were also very high labour. It would have taken two or three times as long if I had chosen to make these moulds in the more traditional way.
Each of these moulds was made in three pours. One pour around the sides of the model, one to make the spare and one for the base. The sides of each were split into three or four sections using shims. In all but one case, the seams were nice and tight. The one exception should still work but copies from it will take extra cleaning. These moulds are not meant to be kept. Each will be used to make up to twenty copies and then destroyed. It would be great if they were all gone by year’s end.
I bought exactly the right amount of plaster to finish all nine moulds. Only problem was I used the very amount I was short to finish them for a demo at my night class. Who knew it was going to be so close? I had just enough to do the sides of the last model but none left for the bottom. Heading out to buy another bag this morning. Another hour’s work and the mould will be done.
The collection of moulds is being dried as quickly as possible. The next couple days will be spent cleaning and organizing the studio. Plaster crumbs seem to be everywhere. Another element burned out in the last firing so that needs to be fixed too.
By the time the space is reset, at least some of the moulds should be dry. Then on to slip casting. I talked about these being press moulds when I was starting the models but changed my mind as work progressed. I would rather refine that skill when I am not under imminent deadline.