PDA

View Full Version : Working with Plastilina-Smoothing, Molding etc


mcclurken
02-26-2005, 10:08 PM
Hello Forum!
I'm working with Plastilina for the first time and I have some questions... Smoothing techniques anyone? I can't seem to get rid of tool marks with anything but my hand and fingers and there are some spots those just won't fit into.
Does anyone have some pointers for molding plastilina? I have a great fear of destroying the piece while trying to make the mold! Also I was thinking about molding and casting with the tool marks and then sanding out the rough spots and re-molding/casting to make the finished piece. Does this sound like the right plan?

Unfortunately I don't think I can really 'get' the molding process without doing it, I've read everything I can get my hands on but I still don't feel comfortable, but I'll be doing it soon with this piece. The picture doesn't do it justice in this case I'm afraid.

Anyway, thanks as always...

Happy Sculpting!

nafa
02-27-2005, 12:26 AM
Polymer clay can be smoothed using a soft brush and some solvent. Isopropyl alcohol has been used, and some mix it with sculpey diluent. Link:http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/MainPages/sculpture.htm#fingerprints

Someone has used linseed oil with caveat that it causes some hardening making it difficulty to retexture. Link: http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/3585/wolf.html

mcclurken
02-27-2005, 01:33 AM
Thanks for the tip...

So using oils/diluents won't harm the clay? I wanted to start using Plastilina primarly because I could reuse it over and over and over , etc, etc. Economy is a big thing to me.

Also you referred to it as polymer clay... I assumed Plastilina was some sort of waxy/oily type thing while the polymer clay I am used to is made of plastic polymers ( Sculpey, Prosculpt, etc) The wrapper this clay comes in doesn't have a lot of information. It makes me think of someone ordering something out of a catalog around 1900... not much information included and the company seems to just have an address. Come to think of it they use a font that is reminiscent of 1900! :-)

Thanks again!
Chris Willis
mcclurken.com

Lady Rando
02-27-2005, 06:35 AM
Thanks for the tip...

So using oils/diluents won't harm the clay? I wanted to start using Plastilina primarly because I could reuse it over and over and over , etc, etc. Economy is a big thing to me.

Also you referred to it as polymer clay... I assumed Plastilina was some sort of waxy/oily type thing while the polymer clay I am used to is made of plastic polymers ( Sculpey, Prosculpt, etc) The wrapper this clay comes in doesn't have a lot of information. It makes me think of someone ordering something out of a catalog around 1900... not much information included and the company seems to just have an address. Come to think of it they use a font that is reminiscent of 1900! :-)

Thanks again!
Chris Willis
mcclurken.com

Plastilina is a waxy/oily type of clay while the polymer clay is made of plastic polymers ( Sculpey, Prosculpt, etc). Two different creatures. :)

nafa
02-28-2005, 01:53 AM
mcclurken

My second paragraph (on linseed oil) was specifically on Plastilina. I have originally included the word but somehow took it out inadvertently.

More links on using alcohol to smooth plastilina:
http://members.aol.com/c40179/lifecast.html
http://www.stopmotionanimation.com/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=17&topic_id=614&mesg_id=614&page=

I should have used the term "oil based clay" instead in the first paragraph.

Use of any foreign material for smoothing are likely to have some effect on the property/longetivity of the clay. To avoid that, an author offered the following:
" For really small areas, you can wrap some chamois or other light leather around an appropriately shaped modelling tool, or use pieces of a stiffer leather- I used scraps of tooling-grade leather sanded on the fuzzy side to form sharp smooth edges, and made a set of flexible smoothers in variously curved shapes."

Link to the full article: http://users.lmi.net/~drewid/Smoothing_plastiline.html

mcclurken
02-28-2005, 11:36 PM
nafa,
Thank you for the clarification. I tried using alcohol but it may be too dilluted to be effective. It was about a half and half mixture in the bottle and I noticed the (I assume) water beading up on the clay. I decided to try some of my ProSculpt dilluent/smoothing oil and it seems to be working as well on this Plastiline as it does the ProSculpt. That is to say that it isn't a bit of magic like I would hope, there is still a lot of technique to be learned.

I appreciate you help!

Thanks,
Chris
mcclurken.com

Little Dawna
03-01-2005, 10:07 AM
I am unfamiliar with your medium. but I had to express my appreciation of your work. I know you're not asking for feedback,obviously you are a pro. I think it's excellent! :clap: :cat:

mcclurken
03-01-2005, 07:58 PM
Dawna:
I had to say not only thank you(!) but just let you know that you're literally made my day. It's been one of those difficult days full of negative thoughts and things going wrong and your message turned my attitude around instantly! THANK YOU!

Also I'm not a pro, but I'm trying to find ways to make art my career. And I am always looking for feedback, especially when its good feedback, I truely can't get enough of that. I have more than my fair share of self doubt.... those "am I any good at this?" type thoughts so I really need the positive feedback.

Anyway I'm looking forward to finishing this project, though it may take a while considering lack of time and money for materials. But I can finally see it finished in my mind when I look at it, and I think it's going to turn out nicely. I'll be casting into resin and/or silicone so I should have plenty of chances to get blushing, hair, eyelashes etc right.

Thank you again,
Chris
mcclurken.com

Little Dawna
03-03-2005, 02:47 PM
[FONT=Arial]You're welcome! As a fellow artist I totally understand about feedback. :wave: :cat:

mcclurken
03-12-2005, 05:43 PM
Howdy folks,
I just wanted to share the progress of this piece. I don't plan to make any major changes, just a bit more smoothing and then its time to figure out how to mold and cast. Anyone near Nashville, TN that could give me a crash course (in person)?

As always, comments and critical reviews are welcome.

Thanks!
Chris
mcclurken.com

mustone
03-14-2005, 12:54 PM
I don't know about your final casting plans, but I've noticed that latex mold is ideal for plastoline it doesn't stick at all.

mcclurken
03-17-2005, 09:45 PM
My final casting plans aren't set in stone (sorry for the pun). I'm probably going with resin, but possibly silicone. My biggest concern is messing it up with de-molding...the plastiline is so soft now after working it... oh yeah and all my sculpts are undercut city! I'm used to sculpting in polymer clay so my nostrils, among other things, are nightmare undercuts.

Should I fill them in and open them up on the final piece? My lack of education and experience is showing through here but this weekend I'm probably going to try the mold, maybe not on this piece, I like it too much to mess it up.

Thanks again,
Chris
mcclurken.com

mustone
03-18-2005, 02:21 AM
Undercuts don't cause trouble with latex mold. As long as you don't have hole going thru.

cvanek
03-18-2005, 04:03 PM
Mcclurken,

Lost 3 plastilina sculptures in the casting latex casting process before I got the technique down. Granted, my sculptures had more long thin parts than your baby's head (great work btw).

I suggest you coat the head in a 1:1 mixture of shellac and alcohol before you layer the latex on it (and use latex filler with the last few coats). Latex will not cure properly when in contact with sulfer-based clays like plastilina.

With such a perfectly shapped head I'd also suggest making a mother-mold out of plaster to hold the latex in shape.

Good Luck!

mcclurken
03-18-2005, 07:38 PM
cvanek,
Thanks for the help. The details like that are what I need most. I really wasn't planning to use a latex mold though. I was planning on using silicone. I've got two products from Smooth-On including the expensive Dragon Skin (bought it a while back when I had extra $$) so I was going to use that, as I have it already. As far as I can tell the silicone will cure properly to just about anything.

You did give me another idea though with the shellac comment... I started thinking of a hard cure to help preserve it through the molding process, then I started thinking how that might distort some of the features I've worked hard to get right. So is there any way to insure against destroying this piece? I didn't think I'd care when I decided to try plastilina but I've had some pretty good feedback on this piece and I cringe at the thought of it being destroyed and possibly not even getting a good mold before its destroyed.

I may just sculpt a little test piece with a nose and ears tomorrow and see how it works. That's probably the best idea but it conflicts with my natural laziness! :wink2:

Anyway... I'd like to thank everyone for their help and encouraging comments...it keeps me going!! :wave:

Chris
mcclurken.com

cvanek
03-19-2005, 06:42 PM
mcclurken,

I know how you feel. I get very attached to my plastalina models -- heck I spend more time on some of them than the finished piece!

The best way to preserve the sculpture is to coat it in shellac (go for a few thin coats, diluted in alcholol.) And make sure you add a flange to the back & base of the head. Coasting it in mold release after the shellac dries might not be a bad idea either.

If the sculpture is larger than a few inches you will also need to create a mother mold over the latex (or Smooth-On) because rubber-type molds will deform under the weight of the casting material.

There is a good introduction book on mold making and casting called "Mold Making, Casting & Patina" by Bruner Felton Barrie. It costs 20.00 but before buying the book I wasted more than than in materials I could have saved.

You shouldn't have any big problems though, the shape of your sculpture is almost ideal for this kinda thing. Just remember you need to pull or cut the mold material off :-)