Casting a Clay Model

in the previous tutorials i have repeatedly spoken about, how important it is to have good references… also, i spoke about using clay models to guide the carving… however, a clay model is soft, and when repeatedly measured on it, it looses shapes, so a way out of this is to cast it in plaster. this is what i want show here in this tutorial. of course, this casting of the clay model is not only limited to the use as a firm model for carving, but one can use it as a finished work, and paint it in faux bronze, or faux marble or whatever one likes to …

i am going to make the mould in plaster, and after that cast in plaster too. doing the mould in plaster, requires that the clay model is soft. since my model is made from plastilin, it will stay soft forever. if you use a model from waterbased clay, you need take care that the model stays soft enough while creating the mould, otherwise, it might be impossible to remove the clay from the mould.

also, the method i am using is not for the faint heart, since the clay model gets destroyed in the process, and usually the mould is destroyed after the first cast too. so, it means, one gets one good cast or none at all… and, i should say, i am pretty new at doing moulds, but i like to share what i learned so far,,,so, if you see things i could improve, please let me know

ok, let´s start ….

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14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dip moulding
    Sep 15, 2012 @ 07:04:40

    Thank you for the great information you shared. I also want to try out new models. It was a great addition to your blogs. Thank you.


  2. Fraser MacIver
    Apr 11, 2014 @ 13:38:04

    Hi Doris, Ralph and Ronald, What informative artists you all are! thanks a lot! I learned how to make simple box molds in art college in the early 1980s, but since then have not tried to do any.
    As I have no kiln, I will need to use non fired clay , such as Das or Plastilin to make my initial clay models.
    I really liked Ralph’s description of the latex brush on medium, in that multiple casts can be taken from it. I ordered some of this stuff from a supplier , but unfortunately no directions with actually how to to use the stuff!?
    This is why your site is so very helpful and informative Doris, there seems to be very little info and good direction from actual art suppliers.
    I guess I’ll just have to use trial and error to get back into the process of molding and casting, after a thirty year hiatus.
    Thanks so much for your kindly help! Sincerely Fraser MacIver


  3. dorisfiebig
    Apr 11, 2014 @ 21:45:35

    thank you, fraser, i am glad if my tutorial is helpful for you. but please note, i did not use latex mold, but very “classic” plaster mold. the process might be quite different. but as you said from the other comments you get information too, and here is the most excelent tutorial about making a latex mold on a very beautiful intricate sculpture i ever have seen! there is also, right in the beginning o a link to another of her tutorials on which this one is based upon… check it out!


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