Choosing the most appropriate type of mould to make often depends on a few considerations that include how many casts you require, what processes you will then employ and what materials you would like to subsequently cast in.
Here at SPACER, we can create moulds to suit many types of budgets and methods, including bronze and aluminium casting, glass casting, lifecasting and resin casting. We work regularly for artists, the film and TV industries, designers, and architects.
We are also very keen to help researchers who are studying mould making processes employed in the past and have worked with universities to recreate methods, or test ideas to answer fundamental research questions.
Please get in touch to discuss your mould requirements and we would be very happy to advise on the best mould for you to make, or to quote for us to make it for you here at our studios. When necessary we are also very happy to create moulds ‘off-site’ when it is beneficial to do so.
Here are just a few mould examples we employ.
Rubber moulds are by far the most commonly used type of mould. Here at SPACER, we use silicone rubber as it captures surface detail perfectly and allows the casting of most mediums many times without the need to use ‘parting agents’. We are fortunate enough to have been trained in both the modern ‘spoon on’ method and the traditional ‘blanket method’, each having their own strengths and weaknesses. We can make the cases in plaster, resin or Jesmonite to adapt to budgets and requirements of the mould.
PLASTER WASTE MOULDS
Plaster waste moulds are a quick and inexpensive way of casting an object. However, they only allow you to cast from it once, instead of an edition, therefore they aren’t generally employed by commercial foundries. However, we believe it’s helpful to keep options open.
For example, we had been asked to take several moulds off a sixteen-foot pet snake (recently deceased). Speed was certainly of the essence in this scenario and we were able to take a few plaster waste moulds from it in one day, ready to be used at a later date. Most mediums can be extracted from this mould as long as the right parting agents are used.
DIRECT INVESTMENT MOULDS
One of the many advantages of our grog and ludo process employed within our foundry is that we can ‘directly invest’ many burnable objects as long as they meet our requirements. These include not pushing the thickness of the eventual bronze too much as this can reduce the quality of the cast, and that the material doesn’t release toxic fumes when burnt within our kiln. This is a more experimental process but can enable some beautiful and unexpected results. We have had much success with flowers, leaves and trees for example if you are prepared to take the risk!
We have a lot of experience taking moulds off people of all ages. Our main priority when doing this is the health and welfare of the model, as it can be a surprisingly strenuous experience for the model involved. Depending on how the mould is going to be used, we use both alginate and skin safe silicone rubbers.
“When choosing the most appropriate mould-making method, it is worth considering the nature of the material from which you are aiming to take a mould. Will it perish if contact is made with certain mould-making materials? If in doubt it is always worth doing a little test first.” – The Secrets of Bronze Casting