Friday, August 21, 2009


No splashing from these fish! Round two of fish-head mold making went well. I used the last of my Potters Plaster with my jumping fish episode Wednesday, and Anchorage Sand & Gravel was also out so they substituted Casting Plaster for me instead. I don’t think it will be as strong but mixed and poured similarly and was the same price, about $50 for 100lbs. The solution to keeping 

my fish heads submerged (and not torpedoing up at me) was wiring them to a small base and building a clay base surround.

The first head I cast made for a too long and narrow mold. Though the cast worked, it was difficult to get my hands and clay in and out without distorting the clay fish head. I made a second mold and built-up the clay base to the head much more, giving myself more “throat” room for removal of the clay artwork and the second mold worked great!

The first head actually cooked inside of the plaster! When I went to dismantle the mold, a hot, fishy-spicy smell wafted up from the humid plaster… The head disintegrated as I pulled the wired board up and it was so gross I actually put 

on some rubber gloves to remove all of the fish skin and various parts. It wasn’t pretty. The second head I kept more frozen and it removed solid and perfectly. So good in fact that I rinsed it off and put it back in the freezer for more artmaking. The head had such wonderful lines to it I didn’t want to throw it away. I made a quicky clay casting using some Tile White (^06-1) and the new form worked well.

There wasn’t as much detail as I’d hoped but the shape and removal were good. Using my clay tools, I'll take the time to add back the details I love so much that are found on the Natural fish. Gina, Steve and I are planning our Raku clay day for next week and I think these heads would be GREAT Raku fired. I’m going to bring a couple of my molds to our clay day.


ang said..., i'm glad this isn't smellavision..!

cookingwithgas said...

Oh, the sweet smell of success..... these are totally cool- or not as the rot sets in.
I love that there are women in the world ready, willing and able to tackle such tasks. With glee and good things to come in mind.
I can't wait to see the finished product.
Let's see what's on the end of your line!

Linda Starr said...

I guess persistence pays off. thanks for the demo on how to make the mold; you've got me thinking.