Elizabeth Comes Together

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After finishing the popsicle stick support I let the figures dry in the sun for a few hours. It is important not to let the foam mothermold spend too long in direct sunlight, as it will deteriorate.
The first image is half of the figure, with a nice inside outside view.
 I had some breakage at flex points in the mold- such as the arm/wrist. It helps to have two people remove the casting from the mold, but I did it alone. A few breaks can be easily seamed. Some of the breakage around the hand and ball occurred bcs I needed to keep those areas thin so they would join back together.
Seven: Sealing the seams with hydrocal. First chase the edges with files and fit the form together as well as possible. A mold in two parts will never fit quite right, so you’ll have some troubleshooting, and some allowable gapping. I use packing saran wrap gently and firmly pull the figure together in the middle, top, and bottom. Then mix a 1/2 cup of water with hydrocal and begin seaming. Do this a in sections and chase it as you go- if the hydrocal really kicks off it becomes problematic- the pressure to carve it back will break the seams.
Eight: Fit a base to the form. I used a 24″ allthread rod of 5/16 weight. First see how far up the figure the rod will reach. I like the rod to enter all the way up the leg and into the abdomen, this one just reached the hips before being blocked by internal structure, but will be ok due to the joined legs. I anchor the rod to a 24″ circle of wood, then insert it into the leg- I bent the rod to meet the angle of the figure and reinserted it. Once it is positioned and all the seams are filled it is time to spray foam.
Nine: The eruption of foam in the third pict is something to try to limit. I drill small holes in various locations on the figure and spray insulative foam inside (always wear latex gloves when using this stuff! eye protection and old clothes too). I had the bad idea of finishing up a pre-used bottle first, and it did not foam much- just sprayed goo inside (but I didn’t find that out till hitting it with the next bottle). When I hit it with a new bottle, the fresh foam pushed out the unfoaming goo of the first bottle and reacted with it- causing a bit of a mess- and the possibility of the entire thing expanding apart and breaking the seam.
  At this point I should have immediately drilled more holes to allow the foam to push out, but I didn’t and the entire piece split along the seam by about 1/2 to 3/4 of and inch as the foam expanded. Nothing to do now but start again, and use this one as a tester for staining/patina.

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