Getting Smurfy

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I thought it would take three long days to dress them out in silicon, but it took five. And quite a few books on tape. First I had to cut off the legs & skates, as they will require more elaborate molds. The big critters will each be a simple two part mold. I sprayed the clay with clear spraypaint, and brushed on a sealant- this is because I used quite a bit of sulfinated clay, mixed in with my good clay- as I used every bit of clay I had- and sulfur nixes the silicon’s catalyst and ruins the mold. Next came the impression layer of silicon, then a batch at “peanut butter” consistency, then a layer put on over sport mesh (for added strength), then a layer to completely cover the mesh. Then I added the mold separation line- I made a mold for that with trim board glued to a plank, for a consistent 1″x3/4″ bead- then stuck them in place with a layer of silicon and a few hundred T-pins. I made a smaller bead for the separation lines on the skates, and used that for mold keys as well- the > shapes on the bird’s sides- these should keep the mold tight to the fiberglass layer.
All together I used 6 or 7 gallons of silicon mold. That makes this the biggest mold making effort I’ve attempted to date. I say attempted, as there is still a long way to go…
Right now I’m taking a break from fiberglass. I had intended to roll everything out in the garage bay and do this step with the garage door and sliding wall panel wide open- but I didn’t want to risk tipping the overloaded gurney as I wended the critters through the door and down the 1/2 step. Just as well, as even with the shop door open and a fan on, the room chilled down too hard and kept the catalyst from kicking. So now I’m like a kid gluing his battleship together in a closet, even with a nice fume mask. I was getting loopy and nauseated, and am still a bit queasy, but might as well head back out now and keep things going.

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