Resin Mold Making!
Thank you to all who joined into today's Zoom video with me + Ritu from Goyna Studio.
As I mentioned in the video, Im not a professional mold maker, but it's something I've really enjoyed learning and dabbling with and it's opened a world of resin possibilities for me. Most resin molds I find are far too small both in size and in depth, and I felt like I wasnt able to create the kind of jewelry I wanted to with the medium.
I'm still experimenting and learning both resin and mold-making, so this is a guide to the knowledge that I have, but if something works better for you, DO IT! I'm sure I'll grow and change what products I use and my methods as I get more confident with silicone and resin.
Here are my notes:
Mold Video Notes:
- Packing Tape
- Contact Paper - Didnt personally like it, not sticky enough
- Work on a tile, cutting board, etc. Something perfectly flat and easy to move off your workspace without disrupting the molds when you’re done
- Try and keep the sticky surface as flat as possible I that your mold top doesn’t have folds or texture
- You can go around the outer perimeter with a glue gun to ensure no seepage
- I’ve seen people use (plastalina) modeling clay rather than a sticky situation and stick a cookie cutter as the frame, and prtess your objects into the clay, but I havent tried yet.
- Use a Tupperware container, juice container, etc.
- I use Tupperware and cut off the bottom of the container, doesnt need to be exact or pretty
- Stick the top of the container to your sticky surface and press thoroughly around the perimeter, I use a paintbrush and my fingers to secure it
- Smooth-On Brand - I like the Smooth On 15 Slow the best so far
- Let’s Resin Brand
- I did not like the Smooth On 25 - my resin didnt cure properly, which could have been an error in mixing the silicone, but it was very bendy and too soft for my liking.
- Your resin object will have whatever texture and finish that the object you’re using to make the mold has - so, with polymer for example, it will be matte or “sea glass” which I actually like, but don’t want that for all my pieces. Resin or acrylic pieces will be shiny, if your surface is shiny, then your mold surface will be shiny, which will give your new resin items that shiny surface, and so on. Take your end goal into consideration when choosing an object to mold.
- Coat your polymer in resin for a shinier finish, but let cure fully (even UV - cure under light for longer than you think and then wait a day to use in mold. It reacted with my silicone because the resin wasn’t fully cured)
- You can put a thin layer of the silicone into your mold over the matte surface to have it be shiny, but it may be difficult to keep level.
- I typically make the polymer piece a bit thicker than I want my earring so that I have some room to work within the mold, it does cause some concave back surface, but I typically dome to attach the post, anyway, so it works well.
- Object needs a flat back to stick to the sticky surface
- Mold Making - Mise en place
- Press the backside of your object to the sticky surface...and make sure it’s the back because pulling it up will ruin your sticky surface and leave residue on your object and it’s just a pain
- Press your object evenly and firmly ensuring all edges are attached to the sticky surface, I pick the mold up and flip it over and also press from the backside
- Mold Making - Action
- Measure according to the directions, usually 1:1 ratio
- Mix very thoroughly until the 2 parts become one color
- I usually pour mine in a more flat vessel like a Tupperware so there is more surface area for the bubbles to rise
- Bubbles can stick to your object and create a bubble shape in your mold, which them creates that indent or texture on your resin pieces
- Pour evenly covering the entirety of your object. I typically pour from a corner and let it fill, I think you get more coverage that way. Pour enough where the object has about ⅛ inch of silicone over it, you want your mold to be sturdy and the top where you are pouring will be the bottom of your mold.
- Tap the container to release bubbles and then hit with a heat gun as they rise
- Releasing, Finishing
- Wait the amount of time your package says to - if your room is chilly it will take longer to cure, a warmer room will cure faster
- Pull the tape off, pop mold out of the frame, and pop your objects from your mold
- Trim any craggy edges with small scissors, bent tips work well
- You’re ready to go!
- Clear is easier to work with IMO, I like that I can see how far the pieces are covered and then when I’m using the mold I like that I can see through the resin and see the inks better, etc, but with that being said, my fave silicone so far is teal, so that's what I work with.
- I use plastic to stir - some sulfurs can inhibit the cure of the silicone, so I dont use wood, etc I also don’t like to use wood sticks to stir resin because wood can release air into the resin and I already have enough fights with bubbles
- While I haven’t tried the Plastalina for the base, I really like the idea of it. There’s no way the silicone can seep out the edges of the frame if the edge of that frame is stuck into the clay and the same goes for the object itself, which I think would leave a really crisp, sharp edge.
• Mold Star 15 Slow (teal):
• Let's Resin (clear):
• Plastalina Modeling Clay:
• Small Scissors:
• Disposable Measuring Cups:
• Tape/Tape Gun: