Hi,

For the past year or so I've been using ultracal to make molds of monster clay heads and bodies.  No matter how much Crystal Clear/dulling spray I use the clay gets stuck and it takes me hours to get it all out.  I'm wondering if anyone has found an alternative.  I didn't want to cast silicone in silicone molds but it actually seems more intuitive than the workflow I have now with ultracal.

Thanks everyone!

Jason

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It might help to use a harder clay for the sculpt.  Chavant NSP non sulfur plastiline Medium and Hard have worked well for me with a little bit of Crystal Clear.  And do you have undercuts in the sculpt? The deeper the undercut, the harder it will be to extract.

Maureen

I sculpt using Chavant hard NSP, don't use any Crystal Clear, and get the clay out by putting the mould into the oven to soften it just enough to be able to extract it easily. It usually comes away cleanly. I take care not to heat it too much as I don't want the clay runny, just soft. Works even for deep moulds.

Hi Maureen,

I use Monster Clay Hard which is probably 2 to 3 times harder than NSP hard.  Monster Clay has a really high wax content and I'm wondering if that might be the difference.  It's strange because NSP feels more sticky to the touch than Monster Clay.


PupCup said:

It might help to use a harder clay for the sculpt.  Chavant NSP non sulfur plastiline Medium and Hard have worked well for me with a little bit of Crystal Clear.  And do you have undercuts in the sculpt? The deeper the undercut, the harder it will be to extract.

Maureen

Usually the Monster clay is still soft from the ultracal heat, even after 20 or so hours.  I've heated it and frozen it and it still never comes out cleanly.  Even on blogs I've seen with experts they still talk about the struggle of removing monster clay from stone molds.

Simon Tytherleigh said:

I sculpt using Chavant hard NSP, don't use any Crystal Clear, and get the clay out by putting the mould into the oven to soften it just enough to be able to extract it easily. It usually comes away cleanly. I take care not to heat it too much as I don't want the clay runny, just soft. Works even for deep moulds.

I often get NSP or other clays to come out of the Ultracal or Hydrostone mould cleanly, even with no release at all, but every now and then they don't.  If the mould gets too hot when it cures, it can melt the waxes and oils in the clay and they soak into the plaster, making it stick.  For that reason I don't heat the mould in the oven to warm it if I can help it, it's too easy to heat it too much.  It doesn't have much to do with how deep the mould is, or undercuts, it's just the surface of the plaster when there is oil in it that makes the clay stick more. Ideally I open the mould when it is just starting to cool, after warming up a bit when it sets, and the clay will be slightly warm and soft enough to remove.

I haven't used Monster Clay, I have some to try,  but haven't sculpted anything in it yet.  I can see it is waxier than most other clays and I know it can be melted to a liquid to pour into moulds.  That makes me think it would be very susceptible to soaking into the plaster mould if it got too hot.

For some sculpts, I've brushed or sprayed a coat of shellac over the surface, then mould release wax,  then PVA release which is a liquid which dries to a thin film, then more wax - to make sure I get a clean release.  But all that can soften details a bit.

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