Using unfamiliar materials

In a bid to stop experimenting as much as I have been with weird concoctions in my jewellery work...I might have been doing some more. (accidentally on purpose) There comes a point in the search for new bodies of work where a period of exploration takes over and that involves a lot of trial and error, occasional swearing and questioning the meaning of the work itself...and sometimes, a tiny little spark that makes you go 'Ahhhhh!' That is what it's all about. The little spark bids you to carry on and take your practice to new levels and hopefully what you set out to achieve! The process is so important, I learn so much in trying out new ways of making.

I've been using a translucent silicone (Shore Hardness A 13) so quite soft, which cures at room temperature. Estimated time of cure is 24 hours with a working time of 40-50 minutes.

My design idea was to create a silicone replica of a 3D Print I'd made, translucent so I'm able to dye this various colours or with thermochromic pigments, exploring the idea of a wearable piece of jewellery which also interacts with the wearer.

I created a latex 'skin' of my model by painting on and building up layers and layers of latex to create a mould.IMG_20131209_191130IMG_20131210_162340

After this had dried; I mixed and poured plaster over the top of my object (stuck onto card with plasticine) and left this to solidify.

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 I removed the 3D print and had my moulds ready.IMG_20131210_175102

I used this to cast the silicone into, which I mixed 1:1 (just like it says!) 3 times I tried this and it didn't cure.. 

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(Almost the same model, but the top layer still hasn't cured)

First of all I wondered if it was the mould, the way I mixed the silicone, the room temperature..so I did some more online research and found that inhibition in silicone rubber can occur depend on what the mould is..and that spraying the mould with a clear acrylic lacquer can help the silicone cure as nothing can inhibit it in the process of curing.

So I've got clear acrylic lacquer already which is great, however I think the model is a bit too big and chunky..even when it does cure the model itself will be pretty heavy and I'd like a more refined and delicate design! So I've been creating my own little models and thought that perhaps dipping these in silicone to cure and produce a hollow model will be more effective; it would be lighter and the translucent material would play well if light was able to pass through the model.

Now to try this out- noting that I have to spray the models and leave to dry before I apply the silicone, apply at least maybe 10-15 layers (or as long as working time allows) to mix the silicone thoroughly, and once removing the rubber to dust lightly with talcum powder to stop the silicone from sticking to itself.

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Wish me luck! :)