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Casting with a single sheet of paper?

#1 2012-11-24 23:34:20

CatPerson
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From: Washington State, U.S.A.
Registered: 2006-01-09
Posts: 1307

Casting with a single sheet of paper?

Looking for Ronnie Burkett's PM recipe for Argh, I came across a text interview of Ronnie by Creaturiste* (at http://creaturistepapermache.blogspot.c … rview.html ) from a year ago, and he makes a reference to casting a marionette head by using a single sheet of paper:

"... I came across a method of casting the whole paper strip head (minus a cap piece) in a plaster mold at once, resulting in far less warpage of the puppet head."

Has anyone ever heard of this method?  I don't understand how you can get the sheet of paper to compress to the mold without tearing, folding or wrinkling.

Any thoughts, hints or rumors would be appreciated.

Sue

* His mother calls him Mathieu RenĂ©  http://www.creaturiste.blogspot.com/

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#2 2012-11-25 15:45:24

paper soup
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From: Small Town Texas USA
Registered: 2008-08-10
Posts: 107

Re: Casting with a single sheet of paper?

Mathieu has been working a lot with casting PM. He might have some insight. Have you tried asking him? I would love to get into mold making, but just haven't been able to bring myself to invest in the supplies.
Joey

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#3 2012-11-25 20:35:00

CatPerson
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From: Washington State, U.S.A.
Registered: 2006-01-09
Posts: 1307

Re: Casting with a single sheet of paper?

I didn't think of that... *embarassed*  Too obvious, I guess.

And just because you mentioned moldmaking, I had a thought while driving a week or so ago that no one has ever mentioned.  And there may be a GOOD REASON that no one has done it, like maybe it wouldn't work.

But just supposing you had a bucket of paper pulp, drained it, mixed in some methylcellulose (MC)*, kneaded it well, and formed it into a mold shape around an existing shape, fairly thickly, so it wouldn't flex much when dry.  Let it dry well, then line the inside of the mold with something like plaster, joint compound or latex, and let it cure. 

Theoretically, it should work, and be cheap.  You would basically have a very thin mold with a firm PM backing.  I'm thinking that you could even use that blow-in paper insulation as your paper source ($12USD for 2+cu ft, packed).

*I wouldn't use PVA glue due to the drying issue of something that should probably be at least 1/2" / 1 cm thick.

Sue

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#4 2012-11-25 20:55:06

paper soup
Member
From: Small Town Texas USA
Registered: 2008-08-10
Posts: 107

Re: Casting with a single sheet of paper?

You are talking about making a PM mold right? I hadn't thought of that. I'm guessing it would be too brittle, and an awful lot of work for something that could be made more easily with plaster.
I'll message Mathieu about the method you mentioned above and see if he has any more info. You could yourself. He is a very
affable fellow and hasn't bitten anyone recently that I know of wink
Joey

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#5 2012-11-25 21:05:45

paper soup
Member
From: Small Town Texas USA
Registered: 2008-08-10
Posts: 107

Re: Casting with a single sheet of paper?

Here is one of his posts about pulp casting. Also he works live on Blog TV occasionally. It's a great time to watch him work and ask him some questions.

http://creaturistelab.blogspot.com/2011 … masks.html

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#6 2012-11-25 21:22:53

CatPerson
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From: Washington State, U.S.A.
Registered: 2006-01-09
Posts: 1307

Re: Casting with a single sheet of paper?

Oh, I can contact him, he may remember me.  I just didn't think of it.

Sue

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#7 2012-11-25 23:46:55

bmaskmaker
Member
From: Takoma Park, MD
Registered: 2010-04-08
Posts: 93

Re: Casting with a single sheet of paper?

I used to do something similar with 2 kinds of paper.

1) I used photocopies of maps.  The paper does wrinkle, but if it's totally saturated (water / mc, whatever) and you press it tightly into the mold with a sponge or something the ensure that there are no air pockets in the mold, then the wrinkles aren't super noticeable. 

Here is an example.  The mold is from a lifecast of my face, and the map was a legal-sized (I think) xerox from a library copier.  The map layer is reinforced with a backing of pulp.  It was a test.  For a real mask, I'd use white pulp or do a better job of mimicking the shape of the paper map.  : )

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/x … directlink

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/x … directlink

In the next photo I tried to do a close up of the wrinkles that are noticeable when you're looking close from the side ... but I don't noticeable when looking at the mask full on from a regular distance.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/d … directlink

2) The second way I did this was use handmade paper sheets that I did using a modified tin-can technique.  I used a coffee can on a splatter screen (kitchen thing) so my paper was coffee can sized  (~ 8-10" circles?).  I pressed it, and let it dry slightly, and then pressed the sheets into the mold, and brushed on straight methyl cellulose in between paper layers.  Because the sheets of paper aren't really formed yet, they marry easily in the mold.  Pressing the paper in with a sponge is the same as technique #1. 

I apparently have no pics of those masks.  Sorry. 

The casting technique works.  Not sure about it as a mold.  Haven't thought about it much.  Cool idea.

-- b

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#8 2012-11-26 02:44:19

paper soup
Member
From: Small Town Texas USA
Registered: 2008-08-10
Posts: 107

Re: Casting with a single sheet of paper?

Well I messaged Mathieu through FB and he replied that Ronnie did not use single sheet of paper for casting. But "He was talking about using a mold to cast the heads in one part. This still requires small pieces of paper, or a pulp compound, to press into the mold."
So no help there.

B, that map mask is stunning, even only partially finished. Love the look!
Joey

Last edited by paper soup (2012-11-26 02:44:31)

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#9 2012-11-26 05:59:30

CatPerson
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From: Washington State, U.S.A.
Registered: 2006-01-09
Posts: 1307

Re: Casting with a single sheet of paper?

Paper, Mathieu told me the same thing.  I read it three or four times and got the same message.  Sometimes my ADD seems to kick in when I least expect it.

Thanks for checking, though.

And he even remembered me, even though it's been at least five or six years.

Sue

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#10 2012-11-26 06:05:05

CatPerson
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From: Washington State, U.S.A.
Registered: 2006-01-09
Posts: 1307

Re: Casting with a single sheet of paper?

Beth, those are nice pieces of work!  The wrinkles hardly show at all.

I guess great minds think alike (um... sooner or later...), because after Mathieu made me understand, using handmade paper or a thin layer of pulp inside the doll head mold was my next thought.

Sue

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#11 2012-11-26 20:30:45

mavigogun
Member
From: Istanbul
Registered: 2009-04-22
Posts: 106

Re: Casting with a single sheet of paper?

Yo, B- bitchen map-masks.   Very nice.

Regarding "full sheets":

I've seen partly-dry fresh-cast paper transferred from the deckle via felt to cover an entire mold, tamped to meet the contours, then vacuum bagged.   The result was perfect.   I have never been able to find the reference material since the occasion I stumbled on it.

Similarly, cotton linter may be pressed and sponged- several professionals use this technique.

In silicon molds, I stipple whole sheets of tissue into place- building up 16-24 layers of tissue, completing in one session.

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#12 2012-11-27 05:44:29

CatPerson
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From: Washington State, U.S.A.
Registered: 2006-01-09
Posts: 1307

Re: Casting with a single sheet of paper?

Mavi -- Do you use an adhesive with all those layers of tissue?

And, are the silicon molds flexible, or are they firm molds with a silicone lining?

Sue

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#13 2012-11-27 08:05:06

mavigogun
Member
From: Istanbul
Registered: 2009-04-22
Posts: 106

Re: Casting with a single sheet of paper?

A mixture of marble dust and very moderately thinned PVA glue stippled over each layer of tissue; molds are relatively flexible- but backed with ridged mother molds.   Shrinkage is imperceptible- parts fit back into the molds that generated them.

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