Saturday, 28 January 2012

The making of Totoro

Just over a week ago a friend of mine sent me a message on facebook with a special request. A Totoro shaped soap for his wife.

I love the challenge of making new things so i said "sure"....... one problem, i am in no way a sculptor. I googled my little heart out trying to find either a mould, or something i could create a mould from (plastic figurine etc).  I came up empty handed.

Now, I'm usually the first one to throw my hands up and give up - i have very little patience for things i cant do RIGHT NOW, needless to say i have a lot of unfinished projects on my table.... but this time i was determined.

So i got out my klean klay and a picture of Totoro and started sculpting......
After a lot of swearing... a few dropped tools.... and a bit more swearing... i finally had something i was happy with.

Next step - box him up
For this i just used part of an old postal box i had floating around and a crap load of masking tape - need to be sure to leave at least 5mm around the sides for strong enough walls when the mould is produced.

Pinkysil is my current moulding choice - i like that its an equal 2 part mix and i just need to eyeball levels in cups rather than drag out the scales and calculate ratios.
I usually fill to 5mm-10mm above the moulding object, in this case it was closer to 15mm as i had mixed up a little too much pinkysil.

The next step is to let is set and then unmould it - though i forgot to take a picture of this step.  I removed all the tape from the glass plate and carefully pulled the cardboard off from around the sides, then gently lifted the set mould off of the clay sculpt beneath.

Now - you're supposed to let this sit over night, 12-24hrs is what ive read from various moulding instructions.  Personally i do not have the patience - so a quick clean out of any excess clay and then i filled it with a melt and pour soap.
I did add a white layer of soap under there first, to pick out the detail on his belly and eyes.  I could've let this sit and set naturally over night - but once again impatience got the better of me... as is often the case when im creating something new and want to see if i has turned out.......... so into the freezer for a 15min sleep

TA DA!!!!
He's a little rough around the edges... but he is 100% hand made and I'm super proud.  He will be off to his new home shortly :)

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