Friday, July 20, 2012

Log Cabin Fireplace Mold Making

Things are picking up at Bella! Studio. Being done with the stripe chairs has really added some "umph" to Bogie's step. We are catching up on our orders and Bogie's been back to creating being imaginative.

Between making red chairs Bogie is working on the Fireplace Prototype. Below is her initial soft clay sculpt. This week she is making a thin prototype mold. Once it's done she will pour a few resin samples, grout the stones and add some other details. This resin version will be her final prototype. Once it's all approved Bogie will be make a second, more stable production mold. If she doesn't screw up on the pours she should be able to get about 50-75 pours out of each production mold.

Mold making is very expensive. One way to save money, especially on prototype molds, is to make a brush on mold. This consists of 3-4 thin layers of silicone rubber laid over the original part. Eash layer takes about a day to dry. To build up thickness scraps from retired molds are added. In the final layer Bogie will drape cheese cloth over it. The fibers of the cloth will help hold the thin layers together and prevent tearing.

Below are some progress photos we think you might enjoying seeing.

Happy creating,

Fireplace is sculpted from soft non hardening clay.

Old molds (such as the french chair molds) are cut into
small pieces. Mold material is very expensive. Adding
these old mold scraps to add volume to new molds
helps to reduce the cost.

First layer of mold material is poured over the original
sculpt. Mold scraps are added to help build up the
thickness. We will do two more layers. On the last layer
we will cover with netting or cheese cloth to help
add strength.

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