Paper Mache Casting with Li-Qua-Che

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This is the easy way to make multiple copies of a paper mache sculpture

I made my little bunny face to remind myself about the process of using Li-Qua-Che for casting. I used WED clay to sculpt the bunny, but for my story plaques I’ll use the oil-based clay that David Lemon recommends. I’ll put his video down below so you can see how he uses it. It’s the clay I used years ago when I made the little cow and the moon plaque that I showed you in the video.

I mentioned several posts and videos – look for the links below.

The bunny was sculpted on top of a plastic cutting board, so the base was nice and flat. Then I used some corrugated plastic sheets that are made for temporary signs, and held them together masking tape and hot glue to keep the plaster from running all over the floor.

Then I mixed up some plaster, using the package directions, but I didn’t make enough. This caused problems later, because I should have been tapping the table to dislodge bubbles that stick to the surface of the clay, but instead I was scrambling around to make more plaster. I did end up with small bubbles, around the nose and in the mouth. They’re easy to fix on the final casting, but a good mold doesn’t have any bubbles. My bad.

I let the mold dry for several days, and then poured the Li-Qua-Che into it. I could tell that it wasn’t as creamy as it was when I used it before, but I tried it anyway, and it did actually work. The plaster will pull the water out of the Li-Qua-Che to make a thin shell next to the plaster mold, and you then pour the still-wet material back into the bucket. You need to scrape any extra Li-Qua-Che off the top of the mold, to make it easier to get the casting out after it’s fully dry.

Then I let it dry over night, – it has to be totally dry before you pull it out of the mold. Even though the Li-Qua-Che was too thick, it looked good when I pulled it out of the mold.

I was working on the alpaca pattern too (the one you see here isn’t the final one- I made some major changes to it, but I hope it will be done next week). That project, and painting the kitchen, kept me away from the bunny for a few days. But I did want to see if the result would be better for the bunny if I added some water to the Li-Qua-Che. I made a second casting, and it turned out exactly like the first one, so the extra water didn’t make any difference at all.

David Lemon’s video about the NSP Soft Clay from Chavant:

If you have some ideas for nursery rhymes or popular children’s stories that would be fun to illustrate in small sculpted plaques, let me know in the comments below. And if you can think of a better name for them than “sculpted plaques,” let me know that, too. :)

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