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Making an Insta-Mold Mold

Instamold is a moldmaking compound which is supposed to set quickly, allowing you to create a mold in mere minutes instead of days. It's commonly used in the making of rocks and landscapes for model railroad building. Naturally, I felt it worth my while to look into. All you had to do get it to work is mix it with the right amount of water.

I measured out the ratio of water and mold compound (which resembled a thin, powdery plaster.) I dumped them both together in a mixing bowl and started stirring them with a spatula. At this point, the mixture looked and felt a lot like Cream of Wheat. That done, I spread it into a shallow plastic Tupperware bowl. I patted down the mixture to make the surface level and to eliminate any errant air bubbles.

I then pressed my sculpey original down into the surface of the compound. The directions said to leave it there a few minutes until the compound had a chance to gel and become rubbery. I waited several minutes then gently tested the surface of the compound. No change. Had I mixed in the wrong amount of water? I gingerly removed the ornament from the compound, taking care not to mar its surface.

Um... this didn't really work. The sides of the mold were all crumbly and I half-destroyed it getting the object out. I did SOMETHING wrong. I thought I had followed the directions. Perhaps I was supposed to mix the water in a certain way. Or perhaps the object I was trying to cast was just too finely detailed for a molding compound of this sort to work.

Perhaps I just needed to try it again, being more careful this time...

All original content in this guide written by Teresa Dietzinger. (Amethyst Angel) c. 2005 Got a question about anything you've read here? Just e-mail it to: dietzt@cloudnet.com