Thursday, February 11, 2016

Project Planchette

A friend of mine made their own Ouija board last year, which turned out amazingly well, but had yet to complete the board with a planchette. So I was recently commissioned to construct one with the guidelines of it being made of resin with embedded mirror shards. Right away I knew that this meant I would need a mold.

So far for molds I have just used a variety of metal bezels and premade silicone shape trays. I had yet to really delve into the many ways to make a custom mold, which can be used for so many different types of media and purpose. I decided to try three different methods of making a mold of a Ouija planchette and see which would give the best results.

Quick side note: 

What the heck have they done to Ouija boards and planchettes these days?? I didn’t realize it had been that long since I had seen a newer version and it was much different than what I was expecting to make a mold of. Since when do planchettes light up and require batteries?? The board is a lot cooler looking though…

Method 1:
Internet sourced silicone mold recipe.

This seemed like a quirky method of making a mold but I was curious, so I gave it a shot. It consisted of using dish soapy water as a glycerin catalyst for 100% silicone (clear and not quick dry), which is then kneaded until stiff and used to encase the object being molded. Cure time was estimated at an hour or until no longer tacky. The best part of this was squeezing all the silicone in and then kneading it in the water, which was quite fun. 

Unfortunately, somewhere along the way I must have added too much of something because my mold never got beyond tacky, even overnight, and the original planchette was completely unrecoverable and unusable again. 

Bleh. May try again in the future but not with any object I want to keep.

Method 2:           
Layered liquid latex rubber.

This method would actually still be ongoing if I hadn’t decided that almost 24 hours was enough time spent attempting to get this mold finished. If you have something larger than a silver dollar to mold and you love watching paint dry, then this method is perfect for you. I have about 18 hours and about 7 layers of this stuff invested in the pics below. Each layer has to dry before the next application and this can take a while, depending on the object. Making the liquid latex layers reminded me of Mod Podge and also of peeling off one of those face masks. 

I know that this planchette mold would require at least another 5-7 layers to be sturdy enough (in my opinion) to fill with a whole lot of heavy resin. There is no way I would pour it in now, as is, but I do appreciate the detail and certain aesthetics to this method. Will likely find a use or two for this goop, elsewhere.

Method 3:           
Silicone putty.

You guessed it. Here there be gold.
So fast. So easy. Great results. What else is there to say?

Mix your two parts and be ready to rock for your 3-minute window before it begins to set and becomes unmoldable. Mold is ready to be removed in about 25 minutes and it comes off very easily. At that point, you can either leave it sitting around for a day before it’s ready for resin, or you can heat-cure it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and put the resin in when it’s completely cooled. Oven cure it is! 

I set some mirror mosaic tiles in the resin and let it sit overnight and revisited it around noon today, roughly twelve hours later. In the past, with that amount of curing time, I expected it to still be somewhat tacky but was surprised to see that it was totally hardened and ready to pop out. Very happy with the results! 

Did some quick finishing work with fine grit wet/dry sandpaper, glued on some felt bottomed wooden beads, and voila! 

Silicone putty is your friend.

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