Casting Shells!

As you may know, we incorporated the seashells from our living room fireplace mantel into the new stain glass window design. So as an extra challenge we are going to cast a mold of the actual tile to help McElf cast new shells in glass for the window!

So first we taped off the areas we did not want to get covered in plaster and made a little dam out of clay right below the tile. Before the plaster is applied, we will also apply a mold release solution of liquid soap and water to help in the later removal.

For the mold we used hydrocal plaster because it sets up fast, is harder than plaster of paris, and I had some leftover in the basement from when I used to do sculpture (back when we had time for such things).

Molding on a vertical surface is more challenging. I had to wait for it to begin to set up otherwise it would fall right off but that limited the working time once it began to set up. The work of applying it was done mostly down by hand with a little help from a spackle knife.

So here it is being applied and beginning to dry.

After letting the plaster set up for about an hour it was time to pop them off!

And now we have a negative mold of shells! The plaster picks up all the details exactly as they are in the old Victorian tiles.

So here they are all done.

Right after this we carefully packed them up, took them to the post office and shipped them to Buffalo NY to McElf’ studio. Can’t wait to see the glass shells that are to be made from these!

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