Mold Making

Bobby Hull Mold

Bobby Hull Statue

Capture and reproduce the true vision of your creation with a mold. Create a mold library to store your body of work. Commission Sculpture Resource or DIY with mold making advice and know how from our experts. In preparation for the mold, there are a wide range of methods, types and materials to consider. Also, deciding on the casting material, the number of reproductions, and the desired longevity of the mold will determine the type of mold to best suit your needs.

Join our highly-skilled artisans for an in-depth look at mold making. We will start with the basics and educate you as the process advances. A finished assembled mold looks simple, however, the process is tedious and requires meticulous attention to every stage to ensure a quality mold. A lot of time and effort goes into creating a sculpture and, hence, a quality mold is a must for all sculptors.

Molds by Sculpture Resource

Mold for the Lakers’ Shaquille O’Neal Statue

From Clay to Mold to Bronze

Molds are the gateway between the clay sculpture and the bronze finished piece.  A mold captures the shape and the details of the clay sculpture for the purpose of casting a replica in a Bronze. The molds by Sculpture Resource are engineered to produce wax copies for investment casting into bronze, also know as The Lost Wax process.  Once a mold is completed, it is then removed from the clay sculpture and reassembled in sections.  With the mold free of the sculpture, a void remains imprinted with the details and form.

img_5860

Mold for Shaq, completed section.

This mold will create wax casts of sections from the sculpture.  For example, a section in wax could be a shoe/foot up to mid leg or a ring of waist and torso.  The mold is divided strategically into cross sections to isolate certain areas as well as for  control, manageability and handing of cast waxes.  A completed mold is then handed over to a foundry, where they use the mold to create the final product.  There are various techniques, styles, and variables that go into creating a mold-  this following example is one of many.

IMG_7089

Don James Statue/Mold University of Washington with mold maker/Artist Jessica LoPresti

The first half of the mold process consists of applying layers of rubber to the clay sculpture, to form a rubber liner.  The walls perpendicular to the clay surface are split down the center, separating the rubber liner into two or more pieces.  The second half of the process involves creating the Mother mold.   Over the finished rubber liner, a plaster shell is shaped around each individual section.  The shell is referred to as a Mother mold, this shell ensures that the form stays true to the original.  The orange keys on the surface of the rubber liner will allow it to sit perfectly into the mother mold, thus producing an accurate wax cast.

CIMG8486

John Perdue Statue/ Mold Perdue University.  Mother mold and rubber liners being removed from clay statue.

In the foundry, a finished mold is ready to start producing for waxes.  Hot wax is brushed on to the interior surface to a predetermined thickness then allowed to cool in the mold. All of the details imprinted onto the rubber liner will transfer onto the surface of the wax.  In this wax stage the statue is comprised of dozens of individual parts taken from the mold. The molds are then opened to remove the wax and will be reviewed to ensure quality.  Once all of the waxes are completed and approved, the work of the mold has come to an end.  The investment casting stage follows in the progression towards bronze.  The mold may be stored in the artist’s mold library for future replicas.

For more information on the investment casting stage, please visit our Casting page .

COMING SOON: A complete guide to mold making for life size figures, along with a supplies list, standard timelines, and troubleshooting tips.