• Custom Moulds, Casting and Workshops

  • By CTW
  • May 3, 2016

Think Big

Elephant head mould | Life Casting | CTW

Think Big

Think Big 575 300 CTW

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.27.4″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]Claire Tennant Workshop - Elephant Head MouldFor the last couple of weeks, I have been building, moulding and casting a life size Asian elephant head.

It’s been quite a process from beginning to end, and the difficulty has definitely been compounded by the scale.

For this project I have made use of all my skills and even some of other peoples!

In this line of work the more contacts you have the better. You never know who or what you may need to call on to get the job done.

To begin with, the client has supplied me with some detailed CAD drawings of their preferred design for the head.

Designing in 3D programs and then transferring the designs to real life can sometime be a challenge so I find it’s important to have an ongoing conversation with the client at this stage.

Claire Tennant Workshop - Elephant Head MouldIn this instance, I decided to have the model CNC milled in polystyrene. This allows a millimetre exact replication from file.
In order to do this, the 3D model had to be broken up into ‘slices’ so that the machine can mill it in sections.
Once the files had been modified appropriately to suit the CNC, the piece can be cut.
It’s a slow going process, but not as slow as doing it by hand!

Once all the slices are milled, they can then be glued back together to give the final form.

Claire Tennant Workshop - Elephant Head Mould

From here, the whole form needs to be given a smooth, hard coating to protect it and fill out any imperfections.

After a lot of sanding and perfecting, the head is ready to mould!

Making a mould this size is incredibly time consuming and uses an absolute tonne of materials, so it would only be worth it if one was going to make multiple casts.

For this mould, I used close to 60 kilos of silicone!!

I will be making 5 casts from the mould so it will be worth spending all that time and money.
Claire Tennant Workshop - Elephant Head MouldAfter the silicone layering was complete my assistant Clint and I made 4 fibreglass panels to encase the silicone. The casing supports the silicone and holds the whole thing in shape.

Once all the panels are complete, the whole mould needs to be trimmed and drilled to allow us to bolt all the pieces together.


Stay tuned for part 2 when we start casting!
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