Silicone is a material made of polymers, frequently used in sculpture and for making theater props. Silicone is as resistant as glass and as versatile as plastic materials, and is also lighter than clay or metal sculptures, so it presents many advantages for sculptors and scenographers. Silicone can be used to make hyperrealistic sculptures that have a life-like appearance. The making of a silicone sculpture involves the use of a mold, which you can make based on a model or a prototype or purchase.
Things You'll Need
- Mask and gloves
- Cornstarch (optional)
- Liquid silicone
- Bowl or bucket
- Wooden stick or spatula
- Propanol alcohol
Clean the inside of the mold using a wet sponge and allow to dry.
Tape the elements of the mold together. Most molds come in two or several pieces, which you can take apart when the silicone is cured.
Prepare the silicone rubber in a ceramic bowl, or a bucket if your mold is larger. Mix the two silicone rubber compounds in a one-to-one ratio using a wooden stick or a spatula. Obtain a homogeneous liquid, and break any bubbles from the surface of the liquid using a cutter or a sharp object.
Pour the liquid silicone through the cavity that is located on the top of the mold. Tap the sides of the mold to remove air bubbles. Break any bubbles that surface.
Allow the silicone to cure for 24 hours.
Cut the tape that holds the mold together, and remove the mold from around the sculpture.
Tips & Warnings
- Spread cornstarch on the interior of your molds using a paintbrush. The cornstarch prevents the silicone from sticking to the mold and remove the sculpture easily. Alternatively, purchase mold release.
- Prepare 20 percent more liquid silicone, to account for any spills.
- Tint the liquid silicone with paints to obtain colored sculpture. For instance, if you are casting a human, add pink silicone tint.
- If using a single part mold, you need to cut it in half to be able to remove the sculpture. Use a cutter.
- Use propanol alcohol to clean drips of silicone.
- The curing time for silicone depends on the product you use. Check if the silicone is sticky using a small brush. The silicone is cured once it is no longer sticky.
- The polymers in silicone are toxic, so wear a mask and gloves when preparing and casting the sculpture.
- Pour the liquid silicone within 15 to 20 minutes after mixing the two components. After 20 minutes, the silicone is no longer pourable.
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