File puptcrit/puptcrit.0606, message 126

Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2006 17:36:45 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] moldmaking learning curve

If detail is so important, and the head is so small,
why are you risking it with a string mold? Building a
clay wall is much more precise, and although it
requires more time and mixing 2 batches of plaster,
isn't getting it right worth it? Also, with string
molds, the keying is usually not as precise. 

Just my thoughts.

Greg Ballora

--- Mathieu René <> wrote:

> Tonight I'm going for the second attempt at molding
> my puppet heads for this movie I've done moldmaking
> before, but not that much. and never for a head that
> is about 2 inches high.
> Detail is crucial. Fuzyness is a no-no.
> I'm switching to the Rufus Rose string method. I've
> tried it before, it works. If you are careful and
> have good timing.
> Someone on this list explained it to me. If he is
> willing to explain or repost (I don't have the
> original message he sent me), I'm sure many will
> appreciate.
> I think he's very busy these days, so that's why I
> don't dare tell his name, for fear of heavy
> solicitation...
> Pardon my basic view of the technique, I still need
> to learn more about it to refine it.
> My model is plastalina, but this works too with
> regular clay.
> It consists of laying very fine string (fine fishing
> line, or even dental floss) over the separation
> lines you have planned to make the separate pieces
> of your mold.
> Make sure the string is flush with the surface of
> the model.
> Make each cut as a single string, and identify each,
> and number them to know which to pull up first
> later. Each string should be long enough to be
> reacheable away from he mold. 
> Basically, you just pour some well mixed (but not
> too vigoursly!) plaster over the entire object.
> For complex shapes, you might still need to make a
> clay wall around the base.
> And to limit plaster spread in the case of a more
> than two part mold.
> When the plaster is firm but not too hard, pull each
> string slowly, creating the separation lines.
> Someone reccomended that I wiggle the strings a bit,
> but only when i,m sure the string is away from the
> face, to create a "key" system that will keep the
> mold closed properly later. 
> The subtle problem of this method is the thickness
> of the string. If you work medium to big scale, no
> problem. But for very small scale, the width of a
> string can make a whole difference when separating
> the face in half in the mold. Plan ahead in this
> case, and add that thicknes into your design before
> molding,.
> The mold might be stuck together at first, depending
> on when and how you pull the strings. A very blunt
> tool should be used to gently pry open the mold. In
> case of lots of resistance, I'd reccomend waiting
> for when the mold is completely hard, in order to
> avoid breakage.
> I've used this method a lot lately for my
> maskmaking.
> The difference is that I glued the molds back
> together since my paper mache strip method is
> flexible enough to allow for easy removal.
> Then why uise this method at all?
> Simply to remove the mold without destroying the
> plaster cast of a face underneath the clay mask
> form.
> Mathieu René Créaturiste
> Marionnettes, Masques, Etcetera...
> Puppets, Masks, Etcetera...
> (514) 274-8027
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