Sunday, May 14, 2006

Casting Materials

Some of you will be in possession of a nice piece of latex now, and are no doubt wondering what to do with it. Here’s what you need to know regarding materials and casting.

~PLASTER OF PARIS

This works well and is readily available, but isn’t as sturdy as stone powder.

Quantity: 1 part water, 2 parts plaster of paris by volume.

Suggested amount:
½-¾ pint water (depending on size of mould), 1-1½ pint plaster
or
1-1½ mugs water, 2-3 level mugs plaster


~STONE POWDER (herculite)

Available from some craft shops. Some suggestions here :


Fred Aldous

Homecrafts

Trylon


You may be able to get it in some hardware stores, although I am unsure if they do it in small quanties (e.g. 1kg). This is much harder then plaster of paris and gives great detail.

Quantity: 1 part water, 3 parts stone plaster by volume.

Suggested amount:
½-¾ pint water (depending on size of mould), 1½ -2¼ pint stone plaster
or
1-1½ mugs water, 3-4.5 level mugs stone plaster


*METHOD FOR PLASTER OR PARIS/ STONE POWDER*

Prepare your latex mould for filling. Take some strong card and cut out a hole in the centre which will fit snugly round the bottom of the mould (it may help to mark around the edge of the opening with a water-based pen, ink or food dye and pressing it down on the card to make a guide mark. Use this to cut and shape the hole to fit. Push the mould through the hole so the lip sits on the top. Hang the mould in a bucket or large bowl, resting the cardboard across the top. Ensure the whole shebang is sturdy.

Measure out the water into a large bowl or small bucket. Slowly shake the powder into the water and stir slowly (using your hand is best). Try not to get too many bubbles into the mixture. When the mixture thickens to the consistency of thick cream/custard, it is ready to use. Pour into the prepared mould until ¾ full, squeeze out any bubbles, then top up, squeeze gently, level off and leave to set, preferably overnight. Often full hardness will not be achieved for a couple of days, so leave for as long as possible (and resist the urge to add Viagra).

When hard, slowly peel off the mould. You can then file and sand any rough edges (make sure you wear a mask as this can get dusty). Wash and dry your mould, then dust with talc or cornflour and store (more information on care of your mould can be found here).

For a more visual guide to filling your mould, click here.

If you wish to paint your plaster cast afterwards, applying a layer of white (PVA) glue to the surface will prevent the paint from seeping into the porous surface.

~RESIN

Personally I have not used this resin before, but it is the best thing if you wish you make a sturdy cast for more practical purposes. Also, it won't destroy the latex.

If you’re interested in this, here are some useful links. If you need any more assistance, drop the relevant company a line and I'm sure they'll be happy to help.

Trylon

Homecrafts

Homecrafts (waterbased)

Homecrafts

NOTE: If you intend to put your resin cock anywhere other than your mantelpiece (if you know what I mean), make sure you protect yourself by rolling on some adequate protection (if you know what I mean).

~CHOCOLATE See here.

Of course, you can always experiment with something different – do let me know the result! Just remember that whatever you use can’t get too hot as it will melt the latex (this includes wax and glycerine soap). Also, beware of using anything oil-based as it can damage the latex. (Matthew Barney, I’m talking to you and your Vaseline stash.)

If you do try anything unusual, do let me know how you get on. Send some photos and descriptions my way and we can share the knowledge with everyone else!