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Cleaning Chavant from Ultracal molds

Hi everybody,
I am a mask maker and often make ultracal molds on Chavant NSP Med. Sculptures.  I crystal clear them, several fine coats, the night before I make the mold.  I have recently started using a bit of dulling spray for tooth before I do the detail/splash coat.  Sometimes I can pull the clay cleanly from the mold after it has set, but most often I have to dig quite a bit out of the recesses with wood tools.  I then slip cast neoprene rubber into the mold but the first pull is usually corrupted by impurities on the mold surface, which I then clean with acetone and then castille soap with a trimmed chip brush.
My question:  What process do you people use to prepare/release your sculpture before molding, and how do you clean the ultracal surface afterwards to remove impurities.  
My method gets the job done, but I am always looking to improve my process for speed and quality.
Thank you.
Mark A Schneider
Faust & Company Masks
www.faustandcompany.com

Comments

  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Greetings Mark,

    My process is pretty much the same as your own.   Couple thin coats of crystal clear, allow that to dry and fully cure (I try and wait a full day if I can)

    I've not tried the dulling spray, how are you liking that?

    And for cleaning out the mold I'll use a trimmed down chip brush, old toothbrushes, and sometimes wooden tools (often a tung depressor that has been trimmed to form a bit of a point)

    If it's really stubborn I'll get out the solvents.

    If it's a hot day and my mold is small enough, I'll try and chill it in the freezer to make the clay a bit more rigid.  Depending on the sculpt this can help pop it out in one piece.  But if there's water in the stone or the sculpt has a lot of overhangs that would make pulling firmer clay out difficult/dangerous I avoid it.

    I've never tried casting with neoprene.  How do you like it and what types of projects to you use it for?

    Cheers,

    /Chris


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