Moulding Experimentation!

We have finally got round to moulding a face and experimenting with various materials! Mell has experience in Modroc, so plastered my face. We were really happy with the way it turned out and the level of detail it gave us.

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After the cast was done, we attempted to use Latex to make a thin mask copy of the face. However this did not work too well, it ended up sticking to each itself and ended up not resembling a face at all. Next time we are going to use a few more layers of latex to ensure we get a full mask.

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We then started to experiment with alginate, which is a powder made of  chemicals compounds, including “alginic acid”. Alginic acid is a powder derived from seaweed that consists of long, chain-like molecules known as polymers. When water is added to the alginate powder and mixed, the result is a thick liquid. It’s often used within theatre and film as a medium for making prosthetics.

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We used the recommended amount of water with the alginate, which is one part powder to three parts water. The consistency was really lumpy the first time, and we had to make it in two batches as we didn’t make enough..

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It started to set so quickly that we struggled to get it into the mould without it setting into the jug. Once in the mould, we waited between 5-10 minutes for it to set completely and for the air bubbles to rise to the surface.

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As you can see from these pictures, we really struggled to get it out of the mould in a complete set. As we did this first cast in 2 goes, it retained the crumbly and split texture of the mixture and so started to fall apart.

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For the second cast, we attempted to make it skin colour which worked really well. We also decided to put four foil strips running down into the cast, to attempt to make it easier to prise out of the mould. This did not work, as my nose was left behind in the mould! But, the texture was much better this time as we made enough mixture.

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This time, we lined the mould with vaseline which worked excellently and the face easily came out of the cast, giving us this wonderful face with green colouring in it. We loved this effect and it’s almost looks like bacteria or mould on the face. We made one more, which had glitter inside it and a orangey yellow colour to it.

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Overall we were really happy with our experimentation, although this is only touching the surface of what we aim to do and what we need to do! I attempted to fill the cast with gelatine tonight, although it just takes too long to set – in order to do this properly I think we will need to build a stand for the mould to sit in whilst we experiment with more liquid mediums.

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