Fibre glassing on top of the sculpt is a similar process to fibreglassing the silicone jacket of the mould. Although it has a lot more detail to capture, so being slow and precise is key. I needed to be very gentle and make sure and get NO Air bubbles while working neatly into the small details and sockets.
I started with releasing the mould before applying a gel coat, The gel coat picks up all the fine detail on my sculpt, this was particularly beneficial to me, as i had a lot of small details, and veins. I applied a beneficial layer and waited until it went tacky (took about 40 minutes- depending on heat of room) I painted this on everywhere where i am placing the fibreglass trying not to create any locks.
As this is such a detailed piece i wanted to create a paste to create a starting layer, i mixed the loose strand with the resin and catalyst. this created a soft moveable coat, so that it would fill smaller holes/marks in the clay. I applied this anywhere on the piece that i felt was very delicate or had fine detail. After this i went on with layers of matting and resin. I applied 3 layers, making the delicate areas and the wall 4, so that the mould was strong. I wanted to try and keep my mould as smooth as possible, with no sharp glass, i coated the mould with a layer of soft matting, this created a smooth outer shell, and made it a lot safer for me to work with.
When fibreglassing the keys, i tried to keep them as neat as possible so they where still visible after for me to drill holes as release keys. In places this didn’t work but most of the holes where visible to see.
I left it to dry over night, this let it go rock hard and create a Fibreglass shell. When looking at my fibreglass mould in the morning it was obvious that i had added to much catalyst in parts of the mould, particularly the face, this is made visible to me by the colour of the fibreglass, It turned brown. This wasn’t a massive issue, it just made the fibreglass shell more brittle. Thankfully the over catalyst resin was only in the top soft layer so it didn’t effect the shell much. The Rest of the Fibreglass mould was strong enough for it not effect the strength.
This was ready for Opening, As said before i wanted to drill holes into the mould to allow for the silicone to be released. I decided to drill theses holes before opening the mould as it was already stuck together to hold it in place. I used a hand drill with a 6″ tool bit.
When opening the mould, it took a lot strength, force and Using a number of tools (hammers/chizels/wooden blocks). I found the trick to this was to create a air flow to loosen the suction between the fibreglass moulds. This was defiantly a hard task for me, as i found i wasn’t strong enough to put a lot of force on the moulds, I found that getting people to help worked, While fibreglassing i felt everyone was very helpful in helping with tough task like opening moulds, as working together got it done quicker and easier. Once i got it opened The clay has transferred onto my fibreglass shell into the detailed sculpt section, this wasn’t a huge issuer, but meant a removing and cleaning it
To Remove the clay, i got stuck in with my hand to remove the bulk excess of it, i found that even though a lot of it was taken out, the smaller details still contained clay. I used thin objects to try and pick the clay out, trying not to use anything that could damage the sculpt. The clay almost seemed impossible to get out and took a lot of time to get it cleaned out, I used an excessive amount of lighter fluid and then resorted in using fairy liquid. I found Fairy liquid did the best job as it created a grease to float the clay off. Even after alot of time cleaning, there was still tiny little dots of clay stuck in the details, i decided to run my mould in gelatine, as this is the cheapest product. This would pull out any dirt or clay that was left in the mould before i ran it with silicone. I found the cleaning of the mould i didn’t time manage for, and it set me back on my plan.