Moulding of the Edith Kramer Sculpt – Did it go to plan?

Was the sculpt dropped by accident?
No, she has just gone through the moulding process!

After sculpting Edith Kramer, it was time to mould her to create a negative copy that I could use to replicate it in a different material. This is one of the scariest points of any project!

At the Madame Tussaud’s workshop, they mould their sculpts in plaster using multiple pieces. A lot of the times plaster solely is used for moulds which is due to the longevity of the material, without the loss of detail. However, I have chosen to do a jacket mould for my mould as its purpose does not need a lot of copies to be made, therefore I could achieve the same level of detail by using silicon supported by plaster. This would also ensure a very minimal seamline – the more parts to a mould, the more chances of low-quality seamlines. This was the correct choice, as I had a very insignificant seamline in my casts that had no effect on the overall quality.

Another conscious choice I made at this stage, was the thickness of the silicon. As I was keeping the silicon in one piece, I had to think how it would affect the wax when I was pulling it off the casts. Due to this, I chose to keep it under roughly 5mm thickness on average. Consequently, there would be less chance of the surface of the soft wax becoming deformed while peeling off the mould. However, this was a difficult line to toe, as I had to control the thickness to not become too thin, which could tear the silicon.

I would also like to address the problems I predicted in the earlier stages of this project regarding this stage:

  1. I went over schedule with the sculpting by a week. Whilst I stuck to my timeplan of the project, there were some major errors with the sculpt pointed out by Val Adamson late on that needed to be fixed to meet my benchmarks. Therefore, I made an analysed decision to extend the sculpting time by using one week spare which I left for myself at the end of the project, in order to reach a certain quality.
  2. I did not smudge the details when I laid out the first layer of silicon! Have a look at this timelapse to see me using the smallest brush I had to gently ensure coverage without force.
  3. The silicon cured successfully. I am glad I used a newer batch to ensure this.
  4. There were no air bubbles formed in silicon which means no surface details were compromised.
  5. Writing up a plan for this stage was an immense help in ensuring I did not forget crucial parts of the moulding process.

Have a look below for images of the moulding process. Overall, the moulding was successful, although it was strange to see Edith Kramer’s face all smashed after she was pulled out!


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