Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Saturday, January 8, 2011

And the play continues ...

Here as promised is part two of my session using moulds and clay. Quite often I want a little embellishment for my work and nothing in my limited stock of charms quite comes up to the mark, or I have what I want and it's my last one, so I'm reluctant to use it, so when I saw advertised Suze Weinberg's Mold-n-Pour I just had to buy some. This comes as two small pots of soft putty, one white and one purple. You take equal quantities of each and knead them together until they are all one colour. Then it is simply a matter of pressing into it any small object, such as a button, brooch, or toy, and leaving it to set for about ten minutes. Then you remove the object and you have a flexible mould that can be used over and over again. I hadn't used mine for ages, so I hunted through my 'stuff' and found that, even after being opened about two years ago, it was still soft and good. I then raided my mum's old button box, and my fancy craft buttons, and came up with this little selection of goodies to try.I didn't want the teapot to look like a button, so before making a mould I filled the two holes with pieces of a cocktail stick. Once the moulds were set I made a few of each with my clay, and I showed these drying in yesterdays blog. Then came the fun part of decorating them. The big gold button made a very deep mould so I only partially filled it. Once again I gave them all an undercoat of white or beige acrylic paint, and then used a mixture of paints, pens, and foil to decorate them. So here are some of the results. You can tell I like metallic paints can't you? The angels turned out well. The first is simply painted with perfect pearls, the second is highlighted with paint and has stikles glitter glue on the wings, and the third is simply sprayed with glimmer mist and left to dry. The third medallion was painted in the same way as yesterday's were but this time I added highlights with gilding leaves instead of foil. I have been following a thread about using these on a craft forum and it prompted me to hunt mine out. The effect was similar to using foil but the leaves are very fine so it was easier to gently push them into some of the crevices with a soft brush. The teapot was freehand painted, and for the rabbit I used two shades of distress ink pad dabbed on a white tile and applied with a water brush. I think he is lovely. I shall enjoy using him. I included the tiny reindeer just to show how suitable this method is for almost any shape. The bottom row of this picture is a few attempts I made at using the mould with a material other than clay. The frame and shell were made by melting a quantity of Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel and pouring it into the mould. My melting pot burnt itself out several years ago, and I now use a tin-foil dish from a bought pie. I can form a pouring spout before I start, and I stand it on a silicone mat, on a wood block, just to ensure I don't damage the surface of my desk! The UTEE works well in a smaller mould. It sets almost instantly, and while it is still warm, it is easy to use scissors to trim any excess from around the shape. For the medallion on the right I wanted to have a pearl centre so I tried experimenting. First I melted some Mother-of-pearl UTEE and poured it into the dome part of the mould. Then, in a second pie dish, I melted some Gold UTEE and poured this on top of the pearl. I under-estimated the amount I would need so I had to melt some more and this shows on the finished result, but does that matter? I don't think so. I have long ago stopped striving for perfection, and accept that my efforts are a true reflection of me. I am happy to use it as it is, and shapes made in this way are very light so they will be easy to fix to a paper project.
And finally, the reddish reindeer at the bottom of the picture was made from a tiny strip of melted friendly plastic, cooled until it was handleable. I do not find this material is particularly suitable for moulds as if it is heated before putting in the mould, the colour tends to float on top leaving the plain matt colour on the visible part of the shape. Also it stays hot for a long time so it is difficult to handle. I have read that it can be placed face-down onto the mould and then heated until it sinks in, but I think you would need the hard plaster moulds for this, and possible a releasing agent, as the silicone moulds do warp and spoil if too much direct heat is applied to them.
Of course these moulds can also be used with candle wax, soap and even sugar paste, so I'd love to hear of your successes or failures with them. I'm always open to more ideas.

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