Sculpting tools and equipment where the foundation of the Alec Tiranti’s trade over a century ago, and they remain at the core of our business today. Few pleasures compare to adding the finishing touches to a finely crafted artwork, as unique as it is beautiful. However, if an artist is called upon to produce further examples of an existing design, a dilemma arises. It is impossible to re-create any existing piece perfectly, such is the nature of handmade articles. And it would likely take an artist longer to try to mimic an existing piece than it did to produce the work in the first place.
At this point, the artist may use a mould to produce multiple replicas of the piece without having to toil for countless hours over handmade re-creations. Modern mould making materials allow moulds to be produced quickly and easily, and these can then be used repeatedly to manufacture complete sets of pieces. The process is quite different from industrial mouldmaking, which usually involves heavier materials and a variety of machinery to produce many thousands of examples of a product. Artistic mould making equipment is much more delicate, the process more tactile. In keeping with the creativity of the craft of sculpture, the creation and use of sculpting moulds depends very much on the skill and dexterity of the producer.
At one time artists had to struggle with materials like wood, clay and plaster to create the moulds to replicate their works. Modern mould making materials, however, are manufactured with convenience and ease of use firmly in mind.
Liquid latex can be used with a wide range of sculpting materials, such as cements, plasters, waxes, and some resins. Pre-vulcanised latex is supplied as a liquid which dries at room temperature and can be applied to a piece by brushing or dipping. Latex thickeners are available to allow you to build up layers faster when coating pieces which do not feature fine details.
Silicone rubber can also be used to coat a range of sculpting materials, however, it’s important to choose the right consistency for the type of sculpture. If you need to check which is the best product for your purposes, feel free to contact our team for advice. RTV-101 is a specialist silicone rubber which can withstand exceptionally high temperatures, making it suitable for moulding metal items.
Polyurethane rubber dries to a hard consistency, making it ideal for capturing fine details. It is separated from the piece using a spray-on releasing agent.
Alginate is versatile, non-toxic and easy to use. It is a favourite with special effects artists and is ideal for creating masks and moulding body parts.
Hot melt vinyl rubber provides superior quality moulds without the need for preparing or release agents. However, handling the material when hot can be a challenge for beginners.
Other Mouldmaking Equipment
Alec Tiranti also supplies mould making equipment such as release agents, melting pots and application tools, for use with the above materials.