I'm really excited coz I've managed to take a mould of Saffron's foot using alginate & it came out with all the little lines & everything on. I even got the little plump fold on her ankle This was the test foot. I got some plaster of paris to fill it with & it came with no instructions on how to mix it - so I just guessed. I ended up getting several air bubbles. I want to get it right next time so does anyone have any advice / recipes for making plaster of paris that sets without bubbling ?
I'm still struggling with the bubbles but have found making it thicker & leaving it for a while for the bubbles to come to the surface before I pour it into the mould is helping. I got some gold paint from the craft store that is looking really good. I'm gonna frame them so you can only see the soles. Helps disguise the bubbles!
I worked w/ plaster of paris molds with several atr projects - to get the bubbles out : take the whole mold, after the plaster has been mixed and poured in, and tap it firmly on a sturdy surface. This will work the bubbles to the top and you will be able to see them come right out.
In theory the mould tapping is a good plan BUT the mould is made of alginate so it's like a very firm jelly & coz it's the whole foot/ hand it's sealed in. I've been able to get some so that the soles are beautiful & I've painted them gold & are currently having them mounted soles forward in a frame to send to my Mum for xmas. It seems to be a matter of trial & error. Problem is you can only use the mould once & the alginate is not the cheapest product on earth. However, if you get it right the results are awesome - you can even see the skin texture. I'm giving it a break now & am gonna take some more on her 1st birthday which is on the 19th jan.
Get the alginate from a dental supplier. I can't remember the trade name but ours is bound to be different to yours. The dental stuff is fast setting. It's got this colour substance in it. it goes purple ( actually violet ) to begin with while you mix it. When it goes pink, you load it into the tray. I just used a cut down celestial seasonings tea box lined with tin foil. Then when it goes white, you put the baby's foot in there & hold it there for about a minute until it sets. I find getting someone else to hold the baby & giving her something to play with to distract her from wriggling too much really worked well. You can do hands too like that, but it has to be something really interesting they're not normally allowed to have. You then get this solid jelly type mould that you pour the plaster of paris into. The alginate stuff I got remained structurally sound for 100 hrs but I was not prepared to risk that since it is really humid here at the mo' so I pretty much poured it straight away. When the foot's set, you just gently peel off the mould. It gives the most beautiful feet, all the little lines & the skin texture is there. I love using it. Just those darn bubbles ! I guess you could fill the bubbles if there were only a few. One other thing I found out too late, make sure there's no dirt of the baby's feet or that'll end up in there too!