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March 11, 2015

Making a Mold from Polymer Clay

They broke the mold when they made you

There's was a lot of interest in the Thai Buddhist Amulets that I got at the swap meet, so I did what any industrious jewelry maker does - I decided to see if I could make more.

I've made a few molds in the past - mainly for working with metal clay.  Those molds were made from two part flexible molding compound.  Fun stuff to work with, but I felt like trying to make something quick last night.  I went with polymer clay molds instead.

It works.  So, I made more.

Details, Details

It actually works so well, you can pick up details in the mold, that it's difficult to see on the original piece.

For example, I think you get a much better idea of the overall shape of this pretty goddess form in the mold than you do from the amulet.

Since I'm new at this, I tried a variety of shapes and sizes and experimented with deep and shallow molds.  This is the deepest one.

This is the most shallow mold.

And after baking the polymer clay for about 25 minutes at 275 degrees per the package instructions, they were nice and solid.  Then, I decided to test the molds.

I used more polymer clay - this time in brown.  I shaped the polymer to be similar to the mold imprint, but left a good size amount on the outside to help me easily pull the clay out of the mold.

I didn't add any sort of a release agent (corn starch, powder, etc.) to the mold - although when using molds with metal clay I always did.  I'm not sure how much that may have affected my results.

This impression is pretty good - it's not baked yet.  I still need to trim and smooth the back before baking it.  Any maybe add a ridge along the side so I can easily wire around the outside.

Here's another one that I molded last night and baked.

It came out pretty good.  I'm not sure how long the mold will last though. I suspect the details in the molds may deteriorate pretty quickly since I remember the first impression having sharp details of the fingers covering the eyes - and this one doesn't.

Today, I decided to age my newly made amulet a little with some acrylic paint.  I'll bet if I put it among the others - you may not be able to tell which is the one I made.  It's pretty good.  

As usual, if you have any tips about making molds or mold material suggestions, please leave them in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. Lisa you're so smart and ingenious! I would have NEVER thought to do this to recreate the amulets. Great job! This is why I enjoy receiving your blog...I learn so much!