Open

I had to go snowboarding again, sun and snow perfect, clear-minded oblivion. By now the plaster shell is really dry. I stand it up and very carefully, open it by inserting some wooden wedges  and tap gently with a hammer. As soon as the suction is broken it comes apart easily. Do not pry. Be patient. I open the mold so as to reveal the first side that I worked on, that hasn’t seen daylight since the end of December. Nice, isn’t it? Face it, there is satisfaction in doing your craft right.

a_open

b_open

d_open

Now I’m going to remove that pretty clay blanket and reveal the model under it. I’ll use a palette knife to cut and separate the blanket from the plaster,

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carefully peal back the blanket,

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more,

g_open

and more, until the model is revealed, but still resting in the bed of clay which is the second-side blanket. I had done some work earlier on to roughly define a parting line in clay from this first side, when it was still in the cradle, and you can see some of that in place still. The task now is to detail that parting line perfectly.

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I save the clay blanket that was removed, because I can weigh it and know roughly the amount of silicone rubber I’ll need later to fill the void between where the blanket was removed and the plaster mother mold. We’re some way off from that still.

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I cut back the plastic wrap with small scissors, which has been helping to protect the model from the clay blanket to the existing rough parting line,

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and tuck in the loose edges under the rough parting line. This way the plastic is still protecting the second side, you don’t need to remove the model from the mold at all, to get the plastic off, and it’s usually hard to do that without harming the model anyway.

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l_open

There we are, ready to begin work on the final parting line. I’ll point out that the outlines will be pretty simple, but the holes through the middle of the body must be handled somehow and even though the silicone rubber material is very forgiving about undercuts and such, I’ll need to proceed with deliberation and reason.

m_open

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