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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Antique Silverware Molds DONE! Vignette, Tutorial and project rating...

Remember this? (Ballard Design Catalog with vignette of Antique Silverware Molds)
And this sneak peek post?

 Well here it is! I finally finished them! (And also decided to copy the vignette in the catalog too)

Before I get started on the Tutorial I decided to do something unique: 

So here goes!
Project level--      EXTREMELY HARD
Clean Factor--  VERY MESSY
Cheapness Factor-- VERY CHEAP $5.50 for a large box of air dry clay
Mental Soundness of person attempting this project--  COMPLETELY OUT OF HER MIND
Final Result--   Absolutely gorgeous and TOTALLY worth it.
Chance of project happening again-- ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, WITHOUT A DOUBT, NO!

Supplies are in the pic above. I used air dry clay (for the first time), gray craft paint, white craft paint, sponge brush, small brush, straight edge or knife to cut the molds in a rectangle shape.
So, now that that lovely rating is out of the way, TUTORIAL here we come!

Start out by making a wide slab of clay. (figure out the size of your silverware you will use to make impressions and add about an inch on all sides)

Then you place the utensil on the clay and press in to make an indentation for the negative mold.
Lift up, (Clay will come up onto the utensil when lifting, this is a tricky part.)
Try to put the lumps of clay that are stuck to utensil back into the spot they came out of.

****3-1-2011~ I had a wonderful comment from a potter! You can use a little PAM to keep it from sticking-this is a WONDERFUL tip and will help alot!***

Now you will smooth the utensil impression until it resembles the utensil to your liking.
A slightly damp finger works best.
Don't worry if it's not perfect, the little lines and bumps add character and leave a spot for the white paint to soak in when you are painting it.

For the positive mold, set the utensil on top of your piece of clay.
Push little chunks of clay under the utensil where it does not meet the clay.
Once you have filled it all in, push down very lightly to leave a small impression.
Remember, you want this one to be raised so do not push it below the level of the clay slab you are working with.
Before you lift the utensil up, smooth all the way around it with your finger, removing and extra clumps of clay.
The clay beneath the utensil should be in the shape of the utensil now.
Carefully lift the utensil of, replacing any clay lumps that are stuck on the utensil.
Smooth the raised, utensil shaped area.


Continue this process with a positive and negative clay slab for a fork, knife and spoon.

Now if there are any marks you don't like just smooth them out.
Once you are happy with it you can set it somewhere to dry where it won't be disturbed for about a week.
(Mine took a week to dry)

They may develop some cracks while drying, no worries, just smooth a little more clay into the cracks as shown below.

DO NOT try moving the molds while they are drying- they will break in half.

The pic below shows my mended knife and fork molds. Good as new!

Once your molds have dried COMPLETELY- about a week, you can start the painting.
Start with a medium gray craft paint and use a foam brush to coat each mold, sides and top.
You will need to do a second coat.

Once the gray is dry you mix a little white craft paint with some water.
1 part paint to 3 parts water works well.
(It does not take much of this mixture to do all of the molds.)

Lightly brush the watered down white paint on the top and sides of the mold.
Take a napkin or rag and start dabbing and wiping the white paint mixture off gently.
You can leave some areas more concentrated with white if you like.
This part of the painting is really easy because it is a matter of wiping until you like how it looks.
If you get too much white on just repaint the gray and start over. Easy Peasy.

(I would suggest painting 1/4 of the mold at a time and then wiping the excess off before going onto the next section, this way the paint won't dry  before you start wiping it.)

Side view of whitewashed mold.

The last step is to take a small brush and lightly brush a thin line of gray around the utensil shape to highlight it. (Shown below)

In the pic below the top 3 molds have been highlighted with the gray and the bottom 2 molds have not been done yet. Can you tell the subtle difference? It just makes the shape of the silverware pop a little.

 Finished pile of Knockoff Ballard Design Antique Silverware Molds. Looove them!

On my wall below :)

Love the rough textures and worn finish!

 Since I went to the trouble of  making the molds, I figured I may as well go the whole nine yards and copy the whole vignette in their catalog

It makes me happy!

 Again, the vignette on my dining room wall below-

And the Ballard catalog below-

What are your thoughts?

Now that it is done I am so happy with it! In the process, not so much! It sat on my kitchen counter in the way for a week and a half. Not to mention a few of the molds breaking after they were all finished. Luckily I was able to glue them and the breaks just kind of blend in with the worn patina.

A few suggestions:

*Maybe try using a baked clay so they are not as breakable.(no waiting a week for them to dry either)

* Consider affixing a hanger to the back of the mold while the clay is still wet. This way you don't have to figure out how to hang it up once it's hard and dry.

I would absolutely love to see them if anyone is brave enough to try this tutorial!

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