Paper casting is the theme for May over at GPP Street Team with Michelle Ward.
I had tried this technique briefly in a workshop with Joy Bathie, using toilet paper, water, gel medium and rubber stamps. It was certainly a fun technique and one I had meant to go back to and play again. Using rubber stamps as moulds meant that the casting was in reverse, which bothered me – I wanted the cast to have the image sticking out.
So when Michelle challenged us to create our own moulds, I headed off to the local craft shop for some Sculpty. I bought beige Sculpty III (have no idea the difference between I and III Sculpty and nearly haa a meltdown, wondering wildly if it made a difference).
At home, I got out my kids playdough toys and found a rolling pin and some cookie cutters. I also got out some stamps and metal embellishments. I warmed up the Sculpty in my hands, one section at a time. I didn’t know how far it would go or how thick to make it. Once I had started rolling one piece out, I realised one bit wouldn’t go very far, only big enough for one mould. I pressed the heart and flower stamps into two pieces, a metal key and a metal heart into another two. I cut the Sculpty down around these and that gave me a little more; I used a cookie cutter to make a heart and a playdough mould to make a penguin. With the bits left over, I press the mesh stamp into it to create a texture plate. These were baked according to the packets instructions.
Heart stamp by Kaiser stamps. Flower stamp by Fern Gully Stamps. Mesh stamp by Stamp-It – Rachel Greig photography.
I was ready for the paper casting. I couldn’t be bothered with the blender method, so I tore the toilet paper into small squares. Laying the first piece down, I poked gently at it with a very wet brush (don’t use your good brushes – they get a bit wild after this!). Put the second piece down, with grain at 90 degrees to the first piece, pushed with brush. Third and fourth pieces were at 45 degrees to the first two (creating strength by rotating the grain – that’s how we make carbon fibre aircraft parts (okay, I’m an engineer, remember!)).
Once I had a few layers it was getting quite wet, so I added a few layers without water and patted it gently with my fingers, which drew the water through to wet the next layer and take some of the sogginess away. The key was a deeper mould, so I added paper into the middle of it to try and get a fairly flat back. To create nicely rough edges, I used my fingernail to pull away excess paper from around the edges. I sat these bits aside; they were handy to fill in the deeper casts. I was too impatient to see the end results to let them dry in the moulds, so I carefully prised them out and left them to dry. As it’s getting colder here, they took a good 2 days to dry completely.
With one set of white casts, I needed to add some colour. I looked at some other Street Team posts and saw some had added colour into the moulding process, rather that just at the end. So I tried that next. I put Pearlex on to the second layer of the heart, but it was an interference colour and too light (made lots of sparkles on other things, though). I added some Distressed ink to the key, but the colour bled really badly and just looks murky. I added some Folk Art paint onto the flower (probably a little too much, since it was already wet) and that worked well. With the coloured bits I’d pulled off from around the others, I used them on the textured plate.
Now I was ready to make something with them!
For the heart card, I coloured the heart silver with a Krylon pen and pink chalk. The pink card was stamped with the heart stamp using Versamark ink. I stuck the paper cast on with Papier Glass finish and added a heavy object on top while it dried to try and keep it flat.
For the ATC, I coloured the key in with a gold Marvy marker. The key was quite detailed but this was lost when adding the colour, so I added some detail with a black pen. Face collage stamp by Art Dreams. Text stamp by Stamp Oasis.
Well, that’s it. I’ve got a great collection of casts to use on future projects.
Thanks goes to Michelle Ward once again, for her fantastic tutorials and great inspiration.
See you next month!