Monday, October 13, 2014

Casting, the Nightmare you didn't see coming.

Casting is exciting, you think you'll make tons of perfect copies of your artwork in no time and you'll be done in time for after work drinks. 

Nope, forget it. More like you'll be halfway there by Saturday's brunch. 

When you're through the mold making part, which is in itself a journey through pains and broken dreams, you'll be expecting things to go downhill. After all, you have your original figure and your mold and you need little else: resins, measuring cup, maybe a scale (if the resins have to be measured by weight), mixing stick (we found that chopsticks in wholesale packs are much cheaper and work perfectly), and gloves.

What should happen: first, you mix part A and B thoroughly. Second, you pour the mix in the two halves of the mold, which you have previously braced using rubber bands, and a thin piece of wood or similar rigid material to even out the pressure. Now there's only to wait, you can use this time to make coffee and stuff yourself with chocolate cookies ("winter is coming, I have to put on defenses"), do some yoga ("I am sublimating myself, I am the alfa and the omega"), or, more realistically, check your Facebook. Third, you'll open the mold and release the perfect pieces inside, feeling like the chosen One, the one who always finds a pearl inside her/his oyster. This is how it should be.

But it isn't. There are multiple ways in which casting goes wrong. It usually does. I grouped the five most common casting disasters you'll encounter, ordered by level of tragedy. The first isn't too bad, the last is a catastrophe. 

Level of Tragedy 1: Annoying. The canister pours on itself. 

Liquid plastic pours all over the place and makes a mess.
Solution: pour more decidedly, clean the neck of the canister with a paper towel.

Level of Tragedy 2: Upsetting. The mold is drunk.

The mold wants much more resin mix than you calculated. That drunken old bastard.
Solution: it's probably your fault, you don't give her enough attention. If you check your estimate again and can't find mistakes, trial and error to find the right quantity.

Level of Tragedy 3: Exasperating. The rubber bands snap.

Liquid plastic leaks and makes a mess.
Solution: get better rubber bands, then get even better rubber bands, then write the local rubber bands producer that someone is still using rubber bands for something (who uses rubber bands nowadays anyway?). In alternative, my boyfriend says that in Mexico broccoli are sold tied with industrial-strong rubber bands. Import broccoli from Mexico.

Level of Tragedy 4: Maddening. The air duct clogs.

Most of the times when you open the mold you'll find it perfectly free. I believe the clogging is caused by sprites, nice monsters that infiltrates in your molds while you pour because they like to get high on resins vapours. 
Solution: Clean and re-clean the ducts, unlike elves, sprites don't like clean places.

Level of Tragedy 5: CURSED. The resin doesn't cure.

You'll want to think that someone is playing voodoo on you, but you'd fool yourself. This is too complex and black a magic for anyone. Only Monkey Island's Voodoo Lady would be capable of this kind of trick. You're probably just too tired and made a mess with the proportions of resin A and B.
Solution: there's nothing to do, you'll have to throw away your mold (preferably out of the window, for the drama), and make a new one. Go for a walk before, chill, breath in-breath out.

The ratio of good pieces to failures may be influenced by, among others: your mood, background music, the Moon, the last movie you saw, trending hashtags on Twitter, eating habits of mammals in your general area and endocrine glands.

Creating artworks requires Zen-monk discipline and a good deal of passion. 
I might get really frustrated at times, but every time I see the results of my dedication, passion and discipline don't sound like a problem anymore.

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