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Thursday, December 16, 2010

How to Not make a Plaster Mold of your Boobs ;)

When I was in college I had this grand idea of creating a clear molding of my breast to place over a painting of a heart.  The idea was to make the viewer think they are peering into the very depth of my soul. Well, in retrospect, it was an incredibly corny idea, but I was gung ho to do it.  Unfortunately my project went extremely arry, but I did learn something about mold making, and every thing you shouldn't do.

First of all I needed a partner in crime. I picked a good and trustworthy friend to scoop the slop onto my person, and chose to do it at the school studio on Sunday, figuring it to be quiet, and I would be undisturbed (and un-embarrased by intrusion).  So that said, my friend and I set about on my mold making quest.  I found out quickly that Plaster is not an ideal choice to be used on one's body, esp. on your breasts, as it heats up to almost unbearable temperatures. After many excruciating minutes, I finally decided that it had to come off. To make matters worse, I had forgotten it was parents weekend and the campus was literally crawling with humanity. Thankfully none had the key to the Studio, and I remained relatively undisturbed other than the occasional attempt to open the door. Despite the problems the mold came out pretty good, and I was pleased with it.  I let it dry for a couple of days.

Once it was dry I made mistake number two, the final fatal flaw.  With great abandon, I went to the craft store and bought a gallon of clear plastic mold material, that dried hard and transparent. I was elated. Unfortunately I never stopped to consider that I needed to lubricate the inside of the cast somehow so that it would release until after I had poured the material in.  No problem I thought to myself, plaster is brittle and I can just pop it off....Wrong again.

It became readily apparent once the cast and material was completely dry that I had created something far tougher than I had initially imagined. For the next two weeks I tried every imaginable way to get the cast out. I attempted using a hammer to crack off the plaster...never budged, in fact barely chipped, a Screwdriver amongst other things to attempt to pry it out, I even slung it onto the sidewalk with all my strength to absolutely no avail. Frustratingly, no only did it not break off, it barely even chipped. Whatever kind of plaster all the cheap little plaster statues I had as a child, this was obviously mightier stuff.  Finally I gave up.  My professors were losing patience with the ugly plaster block that was taking up space in the studio, and I relented and threw it in the trash. I think they were even a little surprised at the tensile strength of that mighty plaster block.

The moral of the story is, before investing alot of money into materials, it is definitely helpful to have a clue. I let enthusiasm beat out intelligence in creating my piece, when I should have spent at least a little time researching the proper way of going about it.
A book to help you make a mold THE RIGHT WAY LOL!

and a Cool Silicone Mold kit

An Amusing look at Mold use

and another amusing look at plaster gone wrong

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