Some of the most famous modern sculptures have been made out of silicone that is cast from moulds. Artists such as Ron Mueck have spent a lifetime experimenting with the medium to create hyperrealistic creations that shock and amaze. But silicone rubber has many other advantages to sculptors beyond its ability to fool the eye. Often silicone is used for sculptures when the use of stone or metal is not considered safe. Silicone sculptures are softer and lighter than those made of other materials.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Mold of the sculpture
- Mold release
- Liquid silicone rubber
- Silicone tint (optional)
- Disposable mixing bucket
- Mixing stick
- Bolts or mould straps (optional)
Brush or spray a generous amount of mould release into the mould, choosing the proper mould release for the materials you are using.
Bolt or strap the mould together, if it is a multiple piece mould.
Mix a small amount of tint into the silicone, if colour is desired. Mix the silicone rubber components together in a bucket according to the directions.
Place the mould on the floor. Pour the silicone slowly into the mould, holding the mixing bucket as high as you can. This will cause any small bubbles to break as the silicone dribbles into the mould. Fill the mould to the top.
Remove the silicone from the mould once it has cured. Different silicones have different cure times, but you will know it is ready if it is not sticky to the touch.
Tips and warnings
- There are two main types of silicone rubber: Platinum Cure and Tin Cure. Platinum Cure, which contains actual platinum, is used for medical and make-up prosthetics that must be safe for skin. Tin Cure is the best option for sculptures as it is far less expensive than Platinum Cure.
- Pre-made moulds and silicone rubber can be purchased at craft stores, art stores and special effects supply stores, or you can make your own.
- Keep silicone away from fabrics and carpets, because it cannot be easily removed.
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