Making an Alginate Mould

To kickstart my ideas I was encouraged to go with my ideas of experimenting with silicone and plaster casting. I was unable to get buy silicone before next week so I brought the recommended substitute, Alginate. Alginate differs quite alot due to how long it lasts, the texture, and how long it takes it set. I was warned that once I’ve created the mould with it that I was to use it within 3 days, and no more than 3 times, due to the natural ingredients it’s made from, in particular seaweed, which make it grow mould rather quickly. I’ve never done it before so I wasn’t sure what results to expect.

For my experiment I decided to do something simple, my hand. To create the mould I followed a set of instructions found in the box.

  1. Ensure the container you plan to use is clean.
  2. Ensure the object you wish to cast is clean.
  3. Pour the mixture, made by following the ratio found on the back of the box, into the clean container.
  4. Place the object you wish to cast into the mixture, being sure to place it securely so it doesn’t slip whilst the alginate sets. Ensure that there at least an inch of space between the edge of the container and the side of the object.
  5. Tap the container gently to ensure that there are no bubbles in the concoction.
  6. Leave it to set for 10 minutes.
  7. When removing the object carefully either, slip the object out gently, or cut the mould in half.

IMG_20170118_125219

I realised when I placed my hand into the mixture that I had used the wrong sort of container and the wrong amount of mixture, as there was not enough mixture to cover the whole of my hand. Above is a photograph of how little it covered my hand, but during the process of it setting it started to spread over the tips of my fingers, covering my fingers up to the distal interphalangeal joint (upper most joint). When removing my hand it eased out quite easily due to the lack of mixture, but upon inspection it appeared that what is did capture was incredibly impressive. It had captured each wrinkle in my skin, and every crease of my fingers joints.

If I was to do this again I would buy more mixture, and use a better container, one which would make the mould easier to accomplish. The tub I used was too large and due to this I wasted a lot of mixture, mixture which would have been put to better use by covering more of my hand.

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