I came upon a realization lately - there seems to be a common thread to…
Oh, I had been feeling guilty for a while. Back when I had made my mold for the concrete critter I had ‘cheated’ by using an existing object. (My bad!) So now I’m coming clean; I have made a sculpt of my own ‘master critter’ and then created a mold… so they can multiply by being cast in concrete. It is such a simple sculpting method using some polymer clay. How appropriate is it that it is a bunny?! Before you know it… there’s a bunch of them!
Have you noticed a lot of ‘faceted’ decor lately? It’s a great way to modernize any form; making it into flat planes; polygonal. Any object can be interpreted into a planar shape and made into a sculpt. The facets of gems and also ‘himmeli decor’ are wonderful!
I started my sculpting fun with some plasticine clay that doesn’t harden. I had some pictures as reference but wasn’t too worried about the shape of the sculpt yet.
Once I had the rough sculpt shape, I used a large xacto/mat knife to cut off edges to make it more simple planes. Flatten the sides into sections. It’s great since it eliminates the need to be such a perfect sculptor. It’s super forgiving…
I was quite pleased how it turned out but I realized that this sculpt clay is too soft to mold from.
Using a Polymer Clay to sculpt:
So, I decided I needed to use a clay that can harden; in this case I used Sculpey III. In order to reduce weight and amount of clay needed you can build up the inside base with scrunched up tin foil. Make sure it is good and firm to sculpt on. Sculpey III is a firm type of polymer clay that needs a bit of warming to get it moldable. (your pockets let your body heat warm it)
Add the bulk of the Sculpey. Smooth the clay and join the pieces. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, the sculpt will turn out just fine…
Here is the basic shape, pretty simple eh?!
Time to make it angular. Smoothly cut of corners, working around to rid of round edges.
Keep turning and chiselling the planes. The Sculpey cuts quite easily and smoothly, like ‘butta’
Back view: Oh cute tail!
It was so much fun that he needed a little buddy!
Alright, don’t laugh, but I over-cooked them a bit. Sculpey needs to get baked in a normal oven for 15 minutes per 1/4″ at 275 degrees. I suppose my oven is a bit too warm. (the white is another colour of Sculpey)
I gave it a coat of white acrylic paint, because I felt bad for the ‘toasty fellows’…
Making the Mold:
I use an old bowl and have a good layer of cornstarch to keep the silicone from getting stuck to the bowl. With gloved hands and cornstarch on top I carefully toss the mass to incorporate cornstarch without getting it all stuck to the gloves. Keeping starch between your hand the glob is the trick. Start to knead it until it gets less sticky and is moldable in your hands. Once it gets to the firmer stage it will turn to the ‘rubber’ mass in about 15-20 minutes. (sorry no photos due to yucky fingers)
Once the mass has covered the entire shape and hardened to a bouncy rubber you will need to cut it to allow opening the mold. I cut a line up the middle of the back with the knife up to the ears.
The rubber is quite flexible and strong since the walls are not too thick.
Notice the seam lines here. This mold is ready for casting. Check back soon for the next part… The other bunny is molded with the same method.
Teaser: Here is a preview cast in concrete! Oh, and a bit of gold… just because.
Run, get yourself some polymer clay to sculpt! (Pouring and finishing tutorial coming soon.) I have discovered a new concrete that I am super happy with!
If you love concrete projects: I’ve got more to share here.