June 23, 2013

Better Late Than Never-Silicone Mold Making Re-Cap-Amanda Griffin

I originally wrote this post back in May upon returning from the 2013 Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild  Conference for the Soap Queen blog-somehow I believe it got lost in the post conference/new Bramble Baby shuffle on the Bramble Berry end,so while it's not exactly timely it's still great information and was very well presented. I don't give you the "full" instructions for making the molds, but merely an overview as Amanda Griffin does have a nice PDF for download on her website Lovin Soap.

Saturday was a day full of interesting sessions, one of which was a session by Amanda Griffin on how to make single cavity silicone molds. Amanda lives in Dallas, Texas and teaches soapmaking classes that include the basics of formulation as well as more advanced soapmaking techniques that include working with color, swirling and she’ll even teach you how to make your very own silicone molds.

Have you ever found a little ornament you thought would be the cutest soap, or wished you could make your soap into something more personal? Learning to make your own single cavity silicone molds offers you a wide range of new and interesting shapes for your soaps. Think about unique shapes such as -Buddhas, pine cones, cupcakes, fake food, grandma’s figurines, thrift store finds, and holiday themed items-the possibilities are endless.

Within the session Amanda explained the types of materials that were best suited for the use of making silicone molds. Pretty much anything goes, however your surface needs to be non-porous, if you find the item you’ve selected is porous be sure to seal it before making your mold.

You will also need to give thought as to how pliable you would want your mold to be for example; if you are making a slab or log mold you might want the walls to be more sturdy to hold in the larger amount of soap. Small single cavity molds will need to be more pliable to release your small irregular shaped item.

Amanda gave several examples of household items that can be used to make a mold box-the mold box holds the item you want to cast (and will ultimately become your mold); such as a pine cone, fake food item, nail polish, etc. She also explained that in order to make the proper amount of silicone you need to figure up the cubic inches within your mold box minus the space your item will take away-don’t be afraid there’s a calculator for that.

Amanda shows us how to make an easy mold box out of a cup and paper plate

 Pouring silicone from up high reduces bubbles

One great option for pourable silicone is an all inclusive kit  from Bramble Berry that includes Part A and Part B with complete e- book  instructions written by Amanda Griffin. This kit is perfect for making fun single cavity molds.

Silicone slab/log molds make soapmaking so much easier as they solve the huge problem of getting your soap to release without the headache of all that pushing, tugging and destruction of your soap-saving you time and money. Making your own mold is a great solution to the costly expense of purchasing a ready made mold and if you want a very specific size it is the best option. Amanda showed us how she made her very own slab mold from just a few pieces of melamine (as her mold box) from the local hardware store and pourable silicone. Yes, a new slab/log mold is really just a DIY project away.

 For a more complete re-cap of Conference sessions check out the Soap Queen Archives here.


Anne-Marie said...

I loved reading your recap, thank you so much for being our eyes and ears at this years conference. :)

Tierra Verde Handmade Soap said...

@Anne-Marie-I had an AMAZING time-it meant more to me than you will ever know. I was pretty much at a point of giving up,calling it quits right before the Conference. I came back inspired to try color and to let loose a little and to find someone to help me in areas of my business in which I struggle. There is no shame in that-many successful entrepreneurs do this. It was so validating to hear from several speakers-"do what you do best and find someone to do the things that are not your "specialty."