Although dollmaking is often thought to be an art squarely in the realm of sewing, in the modern age it is also an art form for sculptors. Many of the popular dolls on the market today, whether produced on a commercial line or by a single artist, are plastic or porcelain creations made by moulding and casting a sculpted model. Casting a doll from a mould is a fairly simple process, complicated only by the toxicity of the materials. You can cast your own plastic doll using basic casting resin and a silicone mould.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Trash bags
- Masking tape
- Vapour respirator
- Safety goggles
- Latex gloves
- 3-part silicone RTV rubber doll moulds
- Mold release agent
- Rubber bands
- Polyurethane casting resin and catalyst
- Plastic cup
- Stirring tool
- Particle respirator
Set up a work station in a well-ventilated room. Cover your flat work surface with plastic trash bags, taped down to the surface to prevent them from moving.
Put on your safety equipment. Wear a vapour respirator, safety goggles and latex gloves to prevent contact with the toxic resin and its fumes. Make sure that your sleeves cover the bare skin of your arms.
Coat all of the inside pieces of the 3-part silicone mould with mould release.
Place the core piece of the doll mould between the outside halves of the mould. Secure the entire mould together with a few rubber bands.
Pour your polyurethane casting resin into a plastic cup and add the catalyst, following the packaging directions for your brand. Mix the resin and catalyst well.
Set the doll mould onto your work surface, with the pouring hole facing upward. Pour the casting resin directly into the hole, filling the mould completely.
Let the resin cure completely, for at least one day. Repeat steps 3 through 7 on any other doll moulds you may be using for your doll project.
Open the mould and take the completed doll cast out of it. Swap your vapour respirator for a particle respirator and sand the surface of the cast until it is smooth.
Tips and warnings
- You can reduce the amount of resin dust produced by sanding by holding the doll parts under water while you sand them.
- Never work with resin without wearing protective gear like a vapour respirator, safety goggles and latex gloves. The fumes are highly toxic. If you get resin on your skin, immediately wash it off.
- Never sand resin without a particle respirator. The toxic dust can fill your lungs, preventing respiration.
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