Navigation bar


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ear mold for helmet

 Because the ear pieces on red mans' helmet are such a unique shape I'm making a clay mold than vacuum forming the pieces. I had never actually made a mold before so this was a new experience entirely. And the only experience I had working with clay was from high school and middle school.

The materials I'm using are freezer paper for my workspace so I don't make a mess, basic clay sculpting tools (there really old actually), Paper clay and a spray bottle filled with water.

I start my making the center of the ear using a circular solid piece of clay. Once I had that nice and rounded I rolled out a flat piece piece of clay with a rolling pin and cut it out with one of my sculpting tools. I than laid it around the center piece and adjusted it so it fit snugly around it.

The clay that I used for this mold was paper clay. I read around that it worked well for costuming because it was cheap, user friendly, air dried (but you can also bake it), once dried can be sanded down and for any reason can add on wet clay to your already dried clay. It can also be found relatively easy in craft stores and online.

Since I used such thick pieces when I made the mold the clay would take months to air dry so I followed directions online to stick it in the oven at 250 degrees for 30 min. Unfortunately it took about 2 hrs in the oven to bake (even than you can tell through the bottom its still damp). That doesn't matter though since its gonna be vacuum formed anyway. I start sanding away at it to get a nice even and perfect shape. Since you can add wet clay to it I used it to fill in little imperfections than repeatedly sanded down. Rinse and repeat until satisfied with shape.

The paper clay is really easy to sand down so I only used a very fine grain of sandpaper. Any rougher would take huge chunks out of the clay.

Starting to take shape.

Added wet clay for imperfections.

 Got the mold nice and smooth for vacuum forming. I'm also really happy with how it came out. There are imperfections which I may fix later on but it looks really good for a first time working with paper clay.

Once I get more imperfections out I may cast and sell molds. Depends on the demand, which may not be a whole lot.

Will update later with pictures of the detailing and most likely the final product.