Casting from an original carving #3: Rubber mold outside the vessel

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Blog entry by Jordan posted 01-31-2012 08:57 PM 1871 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Rubber mold inside the vessel Part 3 of Casting from an original carving series Part 4: Creating the Mother Mold - part 1(brainstrain for you) »

This is the FIRST coat of 4 rubbers coat of the outside of the gourd. The first coat must be thin so you can brush into all of the crevices and undercuts.

Periodically a bubble will appear and you must pop it with a pin as that will indicate that the area under the bubble has not received any rubber.

If you notice, I have put a putty border around the bottom as the rubber that drops into the bottom area will act as a type of flange when I pour my casting material from the bottom – but more about that later.

I will also not be cutting the rubber until everything is complete which is why I’m not concerned with easily removal at this time.


15 comments so far

View patron's profile


13604 posts in 3341 days

#1 posted 01-31-2012 09:00 PM

you are truly an inspiration to us all jordan
showing us how to go
where we have never been before

great work
as usual

thanks !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3125 days

#2 posted 01-31-2012 09:04 PM

Thank you David, not everyone will take an interest but neither would I have when I first started carving. But I have received many letters from LJ’s interested in casting their wood projects so I love to share whatever I can. Thank you for the support and appreciation.


View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 3078 days

#3 posted 01-31-2012 09:09 PM

Four coats? They must be really thin coats, Jordan. Your boot/goard doesn’t look like it has hardly any coats on at all? Off the subject: when I carve fine detail on my bird, I keep a 2” paint brush in my left hand to keep carving surface clear. But I got tired of poking myself in the face with the brush handle, so I sawed off most of the handle, leaving almost an inch of wood and rounded it. Now when I flick sawdust/shaving away, I won’t flick my face/eyes with the other end of my brush! I though of this when you mentioned that it was too cramped inside the boot/goard to maneuver a brush.

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View EPJartisan's profile


1118 posts in 3125 days

#4 posted 01-31-2012 09:17 PM

I am following this avidly. I working my butt off for my Studio Open this weekend, but the first thing next week is to start casting my clay busts. This is inspiring. thank you

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3125 days

#5 posted 01-31-2012 09:30 PM

It’s only one coat as of yet LittlePaw, the end thickness will be about 3/8” and you will not be able to see the flowers.


View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3882 days

#6 posted 01-31-2012 09:31 PM

Thanks Jordan.
I will never attempt this, but I find it very very interesting.

Thanks for taking the time,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Amcarver's profile


48 posts in 3011 days

#7 posted 01-31-2012 09:34 PM

Another little trick you might try with bubbles (as long as the mold rubber is not set) is to blow on the bubble through a straw. The carbon dioxide in your breath will sometimes break the bubbles.

-- E.R. Bunn,

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10100 posts in 4052 days

#8 posted 01-31-2012 09:48 PM

Jordan, it’s starting to make sense to me now…

When all of this rubber has cured and it’s ready to come off, I can see how the Outside will be peeled off… but, I can’t see how you’re going to get the Inside out. Or are you?

I can then see how you could pour stuff into the mold… but, again, it’s the inside part that I can’t see yet.

Do you precoat all surfaces with a good NONstick substance so the rubber will easily be removed?

Will the mold be able to be used for multiple copies or just one-time use for one copy?

I find this very interesting and fascinating…

Thank you for the work you’re doing documenting it for us.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3125 days

#9 posted 01-31-2012 10:00 PM

So many questions Joe but you will be completely answered by the time it’s all finished.

Only a thin clear coat of Krylon was applied to the surface of the gourd, which is quite porous but if I applied too much, the rendering would be too smooth and I want it to look more natural.

The only time I apply a vaseline or mold release is if I butt two pieces of rubber together that I don’t want to stick. At this point I want everything to stick together.

With wax, the mold can be used forever although after ten wax-ups for bronzing I would normally destroy the mold so the bronzes remain a limited edition. However, I will also be pouring resin castings as well.

The heat and chemicals from the resin eventually dries and deteriorates the mold so you have to watch that.

Please note – this all looks fine and dandy but the worst is yet to come…you cannot just cut this mold off and pour something into it…as LittelPaw said – it sure looks flimsy. Even after 4 coats, it would indeed be like a piece of Saran Wrap if I just pulled it off so you must be patient as ” Creating a Mother Mold” is coming up next.


View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10100 posts in 4052 days

#10 posted 01-31-2012 10:19 PM

OK, Jordan, thank you… I will let you unfold it… you’re doing great!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Rob W's profile

Rob W

434 posts in 3536 days

#11 posted 01-31-2012 10:24 PM


Thank you so much for doing this.

-- Rob — I've cut it off twice and it's still too short!,

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2934 days

#12 posted 01-31-2012 10:36 PM

Wow, I see it taking shape.

Thanks for the tip on vaseline. I never thought of that.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View lew's profile


12061 posts in 3755 days

#13 posted 01-31-2012 10:51 PM


Have you considered a vacuum chamber to “pull” out the air bubbles?


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3125 days

#14 posted 01-31-2012 10:53 PM

Yes Lew I do on smaller more intricate designs, but on something this large, any bubbles in the end are relatively easier to carve or melt away from the casting. It’s just good practice to look them and use any method available to rid yourself of them.


View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3125 days

#15 posted 02-01-2012 12:10 AM

Jonathan – degassing is also used frequently but before I mix the hardener, however they form again if you are using over art that has a number of airy undercuts etc. Basically, it’s saying – I don’t want to cover that unless you force me so I will go overtop of it, LOL!


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