Mardi Gras Charms–completed

Not my first foray into resin casting, but…

I made a mold of the polyclay mask using Amazing Mold Putty (yellow), a 2-part moldmaking compound. It takes about 20-25 minutes to cure. While it was curing, I put my EasyCast Clear Casting Epoxy in the sink in warm water for about 5 minutes to warm up. Here’s my first cast:

first casting

Two problems:  1) I didn’t use enough resin—I tried pushing it up the sides to make it more mask-like, but it slid back down and 2) tiny bubbles, there was also a big air bubble at the tip of the nose—my resin, environment, mold, etc., wasn’t warm enough. I’m working in the basement. I poured another one, filling up the whole mold this time, still not warm enough and had bubbles. But the mask came out nice otherwise.

Since I’m going to need 15 of these, I made another mold using Environmental Technology 1-Pound Kit Casting’ Craft Easymold Silicone Putty—this one’s purple.  The mask poured in the yellow mold was okay–still a few bubbles, but I’m going to hollow out the back quite a bit anyway. The purple mold, though, was awful! It had the tiniest bubbles along the bottom of the mold where I couldn’t get to them with a match (heat from a flame or warm breath pops the bubbles on the surface) and they weren’t moving to the surface. Once it was cured, since I had nothing to lose, I starting using various attachments on my Dremel tool to see if I could sand or buff the surface bubbles out. This is what it looks like after that:

tiny bubbles

I made another mold from the Amazing Mold Putty. Once it was cured, I put the 2-part resin in the sink again with hot water this time. After it warmed up, I put hot water in a bowl, put the resin bottles in it, and then also put my 3 molds in the hot water to warm them up. The charms have to have two colors, any combination of purple, green and yellow, so I split the resin into 2 cups and mixed chalk pastels into each, one purple, one dark green. I poured the dark green into the mask, then topped it off with the purple. The masks still had a few surface bubbles and there was no real distinction between the purple and the green.

Since the warming technique worked better, I poured 3 more without adding the coloring, but again, tiny bubbles. The next set I used very hot water to warm the bottles up in, same with the molds themselves, then also mixed the resin together while it sat in a tray of warm water–much better results. The only issue this time, really was that bits of one of the mold came off in the mask.

I’ve decided that all but the first 2 masks are okay to use, where there were tiny bubbles, it added a little something to it once they were painted and alcohol ink applied. I painted one of them with Rustoleum’s Gold Metallic spray paint. It seemed to work well on the resin, but I will try to find some way to give it a little wear and tear to see if it will hold up on a charm—no marring.  Here is the prototype:

painted with Rustoleum Metallic Gold

Instead of gold, though, I thought white would be a better alternative. That way, I can add color to the mask itself, using alcohol ink. There was good success with the first resin mask I sprayed with Krylon’s Fusion white paint. The mask sprayed with the Fusion paint was nice and took the alcohol inks well. The indoor/outdoor paint kind of slid off and didn’t really cover the resin.

sprayed with fusion white

I am now spraying all of the masks, colored or not, with the Fusion paint. I really like the mask with the alcohol ink (Ranger’s eggplant and meadow) and Krylon Gold Leafing pen decoration on them. This might really be neat with a textured spray paint, if it doesn’t slide off.

prototype

Completed bunch of charms, with gold wire loop and a yellow or green jump ring.

a sampling

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