Resin, Caulking, Filling
Stucco: Try stucco patch. You can get it at ACE Hardware, or probably any hardware store - it comes in a container and is premixed. If you want you can add some paint to it for color - otherwise it dries a gray-white.
Stucco: There is a product that artists use occasionally to add texture and a 3 dimensional quality to a painting. The one I use is Schewee's White Texture Medium in an 8 oz. tub. It is easy to spread, cleans up easily (I wash my brushes in 1 drop of Murphy's Oil Soap and warm water) and dries hard but still flexible. Great stuff!!! Also makes "Tupperware" bowls ... paint it on the outside of a bowl shape, let dry, and then peel off ... it comes off inside out to what you painted which puts the smooth part outside and the rough part doesn't show when you fill the bowl!
Resins: With all the recent posts about scenic water, I thought I'd let you all in on a little secret....don't like it, don't use it. Just pitch it in the trash an move on before you start screaming! ;o) I used to use Everlasting Elegance....you find it in the floral department of Michael's. Much better than SW. Hardens to completely solid, doesn't bubble, and is just generally easier to use. Only drawback is the $13 a pint. So, I recently went to my auto supply store.....found a product call Everfix Epoxy (2 part) Resin (used for auto body work).....love it. It isn't perfectly clear until after it's mixed and poured. The price is much better.....I'm saving $6 a quart. And instead of waiting 7 days for it to cure completely, it only takes 24 hours......and I pour it close to an inch deep in most of my ponds. It gels in just 30 minutes.....which means that I can do a waterfall (some are almost 6" high) in less than an hour. It used to mean fussing and fussing over a single waterfall for 10 - 14 hours waiting for the resin to firm up enough to stick to well. The label even states that it is the only resin that can be poured over Styrofoam....haven't tried that yet, I'm sure that eventually I will. LOL Also has about a 10 year shelf life. The only drawback I've found with this product over Everlasting Elegance is that is does bubble more.....but the good far outweighs the bad. And while it smells, it isn't any stronger than Everlasting Elegance, and less than other resins. I use ALOT of this stuff, so I feel like I have enough experience with it to know a *really* good product when I find one.
Waterfalls: I played around with waterfalls before I actually did the ponds and like you, didn't like the flat look I was getting. So,......and I hate to give this one away....I used very thin strips of plastic wrap. I put one end into the resin at the bottom, then twisted the plastic before anchoring it at the top. Used multiple strips, layered on top of each other. Worked out pretty well.....but just wait until you see what's in my workshop! I'm hoping to have it finished and at the store in about 2 weeks.
Running Water: The saran wrap trick works very well and you can run some resin down the plastic wrap to give it a bit of depth. Probably this tip is well know by many of you but I was a happy camper when I figured it out. I was trying to give the illusion of running water out of a tap. (Chrysnbon bathroom taps to be precise) I too a some of those plastic tabs from the tags on new clothes (clear plastic stick looking things) and using plastic cement, bonded a few together for the bathtub tap and a single one for the sink tap. Looks very realistic. Took it right to the bottom of each and then added some resin. You can add some tiny bubbles around the "stream" where it enters the water using tiny glass beads. The opalescent ones look nice.
Debi in Quesnel
Plaster Molds: I have worked with plaster molds professionally and as an amateur in the past. I have even made molds, but have worked almost exclusively in porcelain and earthenware. I will attempt to offer some suggestions. I believe that if you use hydrocal plaster to pour into the molds you may have some success. It is stronger and there was some discussion on where to purchase it some months ago. So go to the archives and search for it. When I made molds I used tincture of green soap ((pharmacy) as a separator, not baby powder and other things. I know that many people will suggest other things and they probably will work. I can only tell you what I have used and been successful with. Brush on a light coat and try to avoid bubbles. And if you are attempting to mold very thin intricate things perhaps plaster is not what you should use, but rather resin or something else that will hold the intricate shape better. If I can be of any further help, please email me. It will be helpful to know exactly what you are trying to replicate.
Gary in NH
Molds: regarding what to fill to replicate from Plaster of Paris mold. Try to fill the mold with auto body putty. Once set up it can be filed, sanded, painted, etc. Smear Vaseline into your mold, then you can pour Plaster of Paris into the Plaster of Paris mold if you prefer that material to work with.
Molds: a rather unconventional material to use, not to mention CHEAP, is paper pulp. I know what everyone is thinking already, but I use a recipe by Ronny Burkette a Canadian puppet artist (besides minis my other passion in life are puppets and marionettes). His recipe is located at http://home.echo-on.net/~props/recipes.html. If you compress the material in your plaster mold and allow to dry completely before removing your cast will have an almost porcelain finish to it. Plus it can be sanded, drilled, added to after drying, can be baked at low heat to speed up drying time, finished anyway your imagination can come up with. If a smoother finish is needed mix Elmer's school glue and Plaster of Paris together to make a homemade gesso and apply it to the cast and then lightly sand. I make dolls for my daughter's dollhouse out of the stuff and just cast a mold of a section of siding to make a cheap durable siding out of it. It is that strong and
Molds: You need a container in which to make the mold - throw away cartons work pretty well. The item you wish to cast from must not have undercuts. Wipe it with a thin coating of liquid soap or mold release (some other things don't stick well to plastics). Anchor the piece to the bottom of the container with clay or tac material. Mix the plaster to the proper consistency in a different container and do not stir it! Tap the container to help get rid of bubbles. Carefully pour it into your prepared container and allow it to cure (it will get hot, then it will cool). Carefully tap the container to release the plaster block (it shrinks slightly) and then lift out your master mold. One thing I have found if there is difficulty getting something out of the cured mold is to try removing the master shape when it is still slightly damp and that sometimes works but is dangerous because the plaster is soft and easily breaks at that point. Do not try to use the mold until it is cry and warm to the touch. If this is not clear please e-mail me directly.
Molds: I love making molds and have been fortunate to have learned some of the craft from several very good mold makers. One of the best sources for both information and supplies that I've found is http://www.polytek.com/. They are a great source for various flexible mold making materials and "plastic" casting resins and polymers--the best thing is the description of each product and it's uses. They have an online version of their newsletter--you'll need a magnifying glass to read it. Another good site for an easy casting product is http://www.alumilite.com/product_line.html. Alumilite is a 1:1 two-part casting compound that cures in just minutes. This site also has an interesting section on mold making--it concentrates on silicone, but the two-piece mold demo uses the same steps you would use to make a two-piece plaster mold. There is a good "link" page to many different sculpting and sculpting supply sites at http://www.dolldesigns.com/sculpt.html
Molds: An excellent mold making instruction page with diagrams and product list can be found at http://www.lagunaclay.com/. The directions are for a simple two-piece plaster mold to be used with ceramic or porcelain slip. If mold making is of interest to you, be sure to visit this site.
Southwest Room box: I did make a Southwest Room box using Styrofoam as the structure. I used spackling paste for the stucco, Red Devil brand is very light texture and easy to work with. The first coat is the hardest to get to stick to the Styrofoam, but after that it is pretty simple. You just apply the spackle, let it dry thoroughly, sand it and apply another coat. It is a time consuming process but gives wonderful results. My 1" scale room has a smooth stucco finish and my 1/2 " has a rough textured stucco finish. I think I applied about 12 coats, on the smooth finish, but they thin and sanded. I applied several coats of my finished paint color as well. The stucco will absorb the paint. Feel free to e-mail me if you would like more info.
Lillie in Texas
Southwest House/Stucco/Styrofoam: If you will apply a thin coat of white glue to the styrofoam, foamcore or insulation foam, the spackle will grab on immediately and the work goes much quicker. .
Scenic water in doll mold: What would you get if you poured something like Scenic Water into one of the molds for a tiny porcelain doll? A miniature ice sculpture? A ghost? The Ice Queen?...hmmm... If anyone's tried it, I'd love to hear what happened.
Scenic water in doll mold: Using the mold for scenic water would not work. The scenic water that i have used does not go hard stays quite soft compared to resin.
*** Note from Anne: doll makers correct me if I am wrong, but isn't it important for porcelain molds to retain their porous properties? Wouldn't Scenic Water clog the plaster pores? ***
Scenic water in doll mold: *** Note from Anne: doll makers correct me if I am wrong, but isn't it important for porcelain molds to retain their porous properties? Wouldn't Scenic Water clog the plaster pores? ***
You are correct on this. The mold needs to draw the moisture from the porcelain so clogging it with another material is throwing away the money spent on that mold.
Scenic water in doll mold: Someone wanted to know about using scenic water in doll molds, and Anne pointed out that it shouldn't be in plaster molds that you make porcelain doll parts with. (True!) But I think the person who originally wrote was referring to some kind of rubber or plastic doll molds used with resin. In that case, it might work as long as the medium you're pouring hardens enough to keep its shape. I'm interested to know if anyone winds up with "see-through" people or "ghosts."
Paulette in IN
Scenic Water in a doll mold? Did I miss something? It conjures up all sorts of weird ideas. Why would want anyone want a jell-o face or body unless for a Halloween surprise or an alien? SW is not suppose to be hard or replace resin. It is another way to approach an effect. In the case of ponds and other water type projects, it may be more realistic. I can't see that I'd possibly want to ruin a doll mold by unmolding the SW from it. I usually take a Mickey D stirrer and run it around the edge to loosen it. That may harm a plaster mold. I usually use molds that are rigid plastic, ceramic, metal or hydrocal. You can also use the fish jell-o molds and put SW over like aspic. SW bodies?????? I'm going to have to get some better samples on my web site. http://www.scenicwater.com
Deanna from beautiful downtown Thiensville
Tile Floor: making tile: My club once made tile by using a grout compound.We measured what size our floor needed to be and then cut out this pattern on a piece of cardboard. Posterboard would be fine.
Then we spread the compound out all over this board, trying to make it an even thickness about 1/16th" to 1/8". Then let set for awhile, time will vary due to humidity, but you want it to set up but not get completely hard.
Now draw your grout lines in the compound.An old pen or toothpick can be used as a tool here. Use a ruler to guide you so they are even. Remove any extra that the tool pulls up. Now let dry completely.
To color we used artist pastels. Experiment with different colors.You can give streaks and lines with the points of the pastels or just color all one color by rubbing with the side of the pastel. Now you can shake off any extra chalk. Try not to rub unless that is the effect you want.
Now spray with a fixative. A gloss is usually your preferring surface since this is tile. Let dry, you may want to recoat 1-2 more times drying between each coat.Once it is completely dry at least 12 if not 24 hours, fill in the grout lines with spackle or other grout like substance. Let dry and then lay in place.
This is a wonderful method IMHO that gives you a world of possibilities. You can go simple or complicated and not the headache of individual tiles. It also helps when trying to match a certain color wallpaper for instance.
Preble in GA
Resin: Resin is a two part product that create a chemical reaction when mixed together to form a plastic type material. There is the clear resin like Envirotex that is used for creating water type surfaces such as ponds and waterfalls. It can be colored to create food products like syrup over pancakes or milk in a glass. It can be poured in most surfaces and left there (like in a pond or glass) or poured out on plastic and removed ( like a spilled drink).
The other type of resin is a casting resin like Alumilite that is also a two part product but cream colored and made to be cast into molds and removed. It can be cast into a plastic, rubber, metal or paper mold. It picks up great detail.
Depending on where you are from resin can be purchased from many sources. The clear resins can usually be bought at most craft stores. They have a heavy odor so always use in a well ventilated area. The casting resins can be bought at specialty plastics stores or ordered over the net. I sell the Alumilite products but haven't gotten them up on the web site yet. Hopefully later this week.
I taught a workshop on mold making and resin casting in Chicago a couple of weeks ago and had a sold out workshop of 25. Anyone interested might check with Tom Bishop for future classes at the Chicago show. I think we will run it twice next year if we can get enough interest. I am also toying with the idea of teaching beginning mold making and resin casting at other locations next year.
Deb (the Dragonlady)
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