Making a Silicone Bracelet Mold: First Attempts (Part 2)

3This is Part 2 of my two-part post on my first attempt at making an original silicone bracelet mold for resin crating. Read Part 1 here.

 

 

 

I de-molded the bracelet after 24 hours. I kind of have mixed feelings about it.

First of all, let me say that the trick I tried, where I put the bracelet on little feet to encase the whole thing in silicone so it doesn’t have a raw edge? TOTALLY WORKS, YOU GUYS.

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Check out this edge here. This is the raw edge (where I poured the resin in). This is the edge that normally needs a ton of sanding.

You can see a hole: that’s where one of the three “feet” was. I had thought I filled it in (in fact, I thought it would be a little post, not a hole!), but there it is. I think it’s because the brand of resin I am using shrinks a little as it cures, drawing in a little bubble of air at the opening.

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This can easily be filled in though.

I later made a second copy of this bracelet (this time in a colorless, clear version), and made sure to fill in completely. It looks like this:

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See how it’s a bump, not a bubble? Lessons learned!

And you can see a very thin ridge (along the red part), where the resin seeped out of the mold a little bit. It came through the hair-thin slice I made to extract the original bracelet form when I made the mold.

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But it’s VERY thin, comes off really easily, and doesn’t need to be sanded.

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This is the raw edge. As you can see, it’s not raw. It is shiny! Achieved without any sanding or finishing.

Above is what it looks like after I broke off the ridge. Can’t even tell it was there!

I rock.

For comparison, here’s a bracelet I made from an otherwise really great mold which I did not make:

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That edge needs sanding like nobody’s business!

So that worked out great.

On the other hand, silicone is such a sensitive medium, that it showcases all the little imperfections in my original Sculpey bracelet form.

Let me tell you, I sanded the heck out of that thing. I think I spent two nights sanding. On top of that, I even gave it a coat of varnish, to make it extra sleek and shiny. But the silicone picked out all the little scratches and uneven bits.

Including a fingerprint, which I somehow missed. In my defense, it was on the inside.

Maybe I can achieve better results perfecting it with my Dremel, but for now I conclude that either I should spend something like a week sanding each bracelet form every night for 3 hours per night, or just use the Sculpey technique for making free-form, whimsical bracelets, where little scratches and bumps aren’t as important. I think that’s just a feature of shaping something by hand- it will never be free of little imperfections.

For molding sleek, shiny bracelets, I will probably just need to buy factory-made ones, and use them as dummies for my molds.

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And here it is- a bracelet I truly made myself, start to finish. Not something I copied. Not something cast from a mold I bought off another artist. Just entirely my own design, out of raw materials.

Okay, it’s a bit simplistic. And flawed. But it’s all mine!

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