Home » Creative techniques, Issue 005 Dec '10, Visual Art

How to use fibreglass to make a mould

Posted by start 15 December 2010 One Comment
By courtesy of Ronex Ahimbisibwe, artist.

In this first article in the series of creative technique, artist Ronex Ahimbisibwe shows you how to use fiberglass and resin-mix to create art. In steps 1-7, he demonstrates how to use fiberglass to make a mould. In the next steps 8-12, he uses the same technique to make a cast from that mould. Finally, in step 13, he paints his piece of art to make it look like a bronze object.

BASICS:

In this creative technique, you will need:

  • The piece of art you want to mould (could be wood, clay, metal etc)
  • Wax (e.g. normal shoe care) to act as a separator
  • Any other kind of separator
  • Resin and
  • Hardener, especially made to mix with the resin
  • Fast-dry spray paint (for autos) any colour you want
  • Fibreglass (which can be bought from Henkel Chemicals)

The following tools:

  • Brushes (disposable)
  • Cutters and scissors
  • Masks, glasses and gloves (since the materials are toxic)

Remember to work outdoors.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

STEP 1: APPLY SEPARATOR

First, apply the wax and the other separator to the piece of art. This helps you to separate the mould from the piece in the end.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

STEP 2: SPRAY PAINT

Then, spray on spray paint as the first layer. This brings out the finer details of the piece. Leave to dry.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

STEP 3: MIX AND APPLY LAYERS OF RESIN

Now, mix the resin and the hardener. Apply the first layer of resin.

When dry, apply a second layer and leave to dry.

This might take some minutes, depending on the weather and the material. It might be a good idea to work on other pieces when it’s drying so neither brushes nor resin are wasted.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

STEP 4: CUT FIBREGLASS

Start cutting the fibreglass. Cut some of them into very small parts. These will be used to get the finer details right.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

STEP 5: APPLY FIRST LAYER OF FIBREGLASS

Then, mix resin and hardener again. Start applying the finer parts of fibreglass to the piece.

Smear the resin-mix to the fiberglass-layer. Pay special attention to the finer details, and take great care to get any air bubbles out.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

STEP 6: APPLY MORE LAYERS

When the first layer is dry, use more resin-mix and fibreglass to create a second layer. This time it is easier to attach the fibreglass and get the details right.

Repeat this procedure two more times, applying in total four layers of fibreglass.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

STEP 7: DETACH MOULD

When the mould is dry, detach the mould from the piece.

Sometimes, you will need to hammer on it to loosen the piece from the separator.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

STEP 8: APPLY SEPARATOR IN MOULD

Now, it is time to make a fibreglass cast from the mould. Sometimes, it is a good idea to start by sanding the piece at the edges with sandpaper.

Then, apply the separator inside the mould.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

STEP 9: SPRAY PAINT

Once again, we start with spraying fast-dry spray paint as the first layer.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

STEP 10: APPLY RESIN

Next, mix some more resin and hardener. As previously, apply two layers of resin only, before you start with the fibreglass.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

STEP 11: APPLY FIBREGLASS

Now, it is time to apply the fibreglass. As previously, use finer parts of fibreglass first and smear the resin-mix to the fibreglass-layer.

Repeat two or three times, depending on how thick you want the piece of art to be.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

STEP 12: DETACH CAST FROM MOULD

Finally, use a cutter or other suitable tools to detach the cast from the mould.

Then, you can fix the edges of the piece using scissors, files and sandpapers.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

STEP 13: PAINT CAST

In this last step, Ronex shows how to paint the piece to give it a bronze look. First, use som black spray paint. Then, add some details using brownish and yellowish colours.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

You have now created a piece of art by using fibreglass to make a mould and cast from the mould.

Congratulations!

One Comment »

  • ronex said:

    i liked how you divided the demonstration into vital sections
    it makes any one understand the process easier and better