NEW-Moldmaking Post 2- Tile Molds. September 12 2018

Tile Molds. Pt 2

Moldmaking at OCAC

September 12, 2018

This post continues my moldmaking explorations in an Independent Study at OCAC in the Fall semester of 2018.

My first post was centered on the making of tile molds, pressing objects into clay and pouring plaster. This first round came out looking like this:


I had some good success learning from these tile molds which objects to use and how to use them to make a good impression, when pouring plaster over a composition. I also learned which objects and orientations have a problem causing “undercuts” as they are covered in plaster. This was a good thing to explore and witness, as undercutting is explained in concept during the orientation to plaster, but seeing it happen really gets the idea set into your brain.

Tile mold with issues .

Tile mold with issues.

As you can see, some objects like the ball of tape project with too many layers into the plaster and cause an “undercut,” where the plaster settles too far into layers of surfaces and can’t be retrieved. In the picture below, you can see where the plaster couldn’t be retrieved (the plaster still set into clay in the middle of the tape impression). These are helpful lessons to use when visualizing for future originals and to know what the plaster needs to make a successful mold for an object in the round.


I also observed helpful findings about how to treat a text or word when making an original for a mold, to get the word to come out in the desired direction. For instance, I was thinking about the text I chose (“SIGNALS”) as I would in printmaking and rendered it backwards for the text to come out with a forward, and legible orientation. However, it turns out that the word impression in a tile is the same as it would be if using a stamp rather than an intaglio impression and did not have to be made in reverse. Lesson learned, if not considered, beforehand. All part of the process of getting more familiar with these processes so that I can make some great pieces.

In lessons of surface, the metal of the nut and bottlecap I used did not want to come out of the plaster body despite being doused with mold soap.

This will be helpful in the future as I am reckoning with what material to use for molds in an in situ process, and so far it seems the easiest yet most versatile material will be clay (I will make impressions in slabs and bring them back to pour from as opposed to possibly using plaster in situ).

IMG-0322 (1).JPG

(There will be more on this idea at a later date, as I perform in situ moldmaking; but, as a PREVIEW: I have considered silicon or resin pouring for in situ moldmaking, but after researching the different processes it seems that making an original in clay may still be the easiest and most precise for molds. I will continue further research on these possible materials but if the end result is still that clay is the most precise, cost-effective, and versatile, I will be happy because the processes I’m learning have each started out in clay and I’m feeling comfortable and happy. I will be doing some practice runs with in situ moldmaking in clay, next week, prior to making larger and more complicated molds based on my first trials.)

In the next post, I’ll be venturing into the world of 1-piece molds cast from a form I have hand-sculpted. That will be the process which leads up to making 2-part molds…

Until next time!

Go Make Something,


September 12 2018