the resin casting blues

got them too ūüėÄ

the resin cast of my medal that i was hoping to present at the assessment is beyond rescue. the basic cast was pretty sound – much better than i was expecting from my first ever cast in my first ever 2-part mould. i realise this is a process that most makers on the course would be familiar with from foundation and/or first year, but it was totally new to me and took a lot of getting my head around.

when it clicked i was a bit *woah* about the possibilities it opens up – any analogue method of making reproductions presses my buttons.

despite my sampling the cast didn’t come out as i’d expected. all my previous samples had been made with open silicone cake moulds, which dried to a fine consistency where it touched the mould. the cast was much more pebbly in texture (perhaps due to the granular finish on the printed medal), the brasso i’d been using to finish my samples just couldn’t touch it. the finish was so rough the piece barely looked translucent so i figured best skip straight to a finishing coat of resin.

the problems with this being a) it curing¬†in time for the assessment (my samples have taken 36-48 hours to even begin to cure to the surface despite added gentle heat) and b) the effect of an additional coat obscuring the text around the edges, that i’d been really pleased to be able to cast (not perfect but legible). when i went ahead it was visible¬†that the resin was cloudy to the centre, something i’ve not experienced before. maybe¬†it isn’t fully cured or a¬†difference between casting in a 2-part mould to an open one?

more expected, i got a couple of large bubbles, under the worm and another terminal one right at the top of the mould between the pouring and air escape tubes. also as expected the fragile letter sections of the mould have¬†come away in places, so i’d need to make a new mould to attempt casting again (although i could run more experiments with the first mould).

i think my biggest problem has been the time taken for the epoxy resin to gel and cure – at least 6 hours for the former and 48+ hours for the latter. it doesn’t allow for the gradual manipulation you can do with a faster setting mix. still, i do like some the effects i’ve managed to achieve in my samples, so i think (resin) casting is something i’d be interested in revisiting at some point.

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