On the heels of a great blacksmithing series at 757 Makerspace, this week we transitioned to classes on Making Molds and Casting Objects. There’s a lot to learn so today was an introduction, with some basic hands on practice. We primarily worked with one technique today – thermoforming, or vacuum forming.
My take on the basics from today’s intro:
- a plastic sheet is heated to a temp that makes it pliable
- that plastic sheet is then stretched over the object to be molded
- its them cooled into the finished shape; thickness of the plastic sheet needed depends on the size and height of the object you are trying to mold
- the original model is them removed from the mold and it can be filled with a range of materials to create copies. bit of art and science in removing your objects from the model
- we used a table top machine to help us do this
- Can fill the molds with a range of substances – we used liquid plastic today, but many other possibilities like foam, resin, etc.
Our instructor, Scot Clark, did a terrific job getting us introduced to mold making with the basics while sharing some of his great work and giving us some ideas of more sophisticated techniques. His creativity definitely came through and he did a great job teaching us newbies while enticing us with the possibilities once you master the basics and move onto more advanced molding techniques. He shared some of his special effects and ghoulish Halloween creations (think zombies, skulls etc). Josh and Santiago were definitely drawn to the zombie he brought in!
I love the way he described the work he does in special effects as ‘problem solving’ where someone wants to achieve something and he has to determine how to achieve that look or effect with materials! Love that angle on the work – as a fellow professional ‘problem solver.’
Scot mentioned being part of the team that worked on the Year of the Dragon display for the Bellagio Hotel and described how they used molds to create the parts of the dragons. Josh quickly googled the display and this is what we found – amazing!
For next week’s class we can bring a small item to mold – so need to decide what I might bring. The younger kids will be working with Lego mini-figures to create molds … right up Justin’s alley 🙂
Looking forward to next week’s session! And trying to decide on some family projects to work on at Makerspace in addition to the classes. Some metalwork and pallet art ideas mulling around. Thanks again to Beau for arranging a great series.