But last night another boy was successfully brought into the world! Just gotta recast one hand, then I'll go through and shore up any small bubbles. He is a pure, paper white and very pretty if I do say so myself. Hopefully he'll go up for sale next week.
I thought I'd give you some random facts about my process so you get an idea of what it's like to cast.
- It takes me about an hour to set all the molds up for casting. Each mold has to be powdered with talc on the inside- this encourages a smooth fill and a matte surface. I also pre-pour my resin so that hopefully even the tiniest of bubbles will rise to the surface and pop.
- Once set up, the casting takes me about an hour, sometimes two. If there are any parts that didn't come out to my satisfaction I have to start the process all over for that mold.
- I can only cast one complete doll every few days even working at my fastest. because...
- I am allergic to the hardner in the resin. Too much exposure and I break out in hives all over my arms. I cast with a respirator, gloves, and long sleeves. When the cast is complete I leave the room and leave the window open to ensure the fumes dissipate. Most people are not nearly so sensitive as I am.
- The resin I use has a work time of about three minutes before it turns to a gel state and heats up. I have to work very fast. It's sort of stressful because I hate wasting resin. If I hesitate at all, there's a good chance I won't get to use all the resin I just mixed!
- In some resins, like Smooth-on, adding color can cause the resin to set up faster and not give up it's bubbles so easily. For some reason I don't have this problem with Alumilite or Polytek.
- I have to remove the casts from their molds before they fully harden. If they're too soft they'll warp, but if they're too hard they can damage the molds and the sprues are harder to remove.
- The little star-burst shaped marks you see sometimes on the casts are where a sprue was removed. I usually sand them out, but sometimes I miss a few.
- While I don't sand the entire doll, I will often run a 400 grit paper over any seams that seem sharp to me. I have actually cut myself on the seams sometimes.
- The process for the doll goes: Casting, filling any minor imperfections(which sometimes involves mixing up a matching color of apoxy sculpt), drilling the hands and feet, cutting and filing down the bars for the hands and feet, stringing the doll, and then gluing the bars and magnets in place. This takes a lot longer than it sounds. XD