Introduction: Alginate Mold - Polyester Resin Copy

About: Sabanci University visual arts graduate

So today I'm going to show you how to make a alginate mold and fill it with polyester resin.

What do we need;

- alginate (it is the material dentists use to cast your teeth, there are several versions of it; some harden quickly like in 1-2 minutes and others take 5to 9 minutes. I used the latter.)
- room temp water
- mold containers
- polyester resin
- polyester resin catalyst; Methyl ethyl ketone peroxide (MEKP)
- a mixer (you can mix the alginate with your hand but a mixer would make your life a lot easier. but you need a mixer for polyester and the catalyst. If not mixed well the product would crack while hardening)

Step 1:

Put your alginate in a container. Little by little add water and mix it. Do not pour all the water all at once cause it would create lumps and you wouldn't want that :) 

Step 2:

First it would be a dark purple/pink than the color will get lighter and when it is light pink put your hands in the position you want to have the mold and wait. After the alginate becomes white wait for another minute just to be sure. 
Alginate won't become hard like a rock or plaster. Instead it would be like a pudding but a bit more firm. 
Wiggle your hands out of the alginate and voila your mold is ready.

Step 3:

Pour your polyester resin (the dark fuchsia colored liquid) into a cup and and add MEKP (Methyl ethyl ketone peroxide, the clear liquid). 3- 4 drops of MEKP is enough for 1 oz of polyester. 
I didn't have a mixer so I just mixed it with a brush but it was a risky thing to do. It should be a clear green color.
Wait 1 hour and take them out. 

Step 4:

The end product should have been green but if you don't mix it well (like mixing it with a brush) it will have a purple-ish color.
Wash it under the water to get the alginate out. If there are parts that stick out just cut them with a utility knife.
There you have it. I know my hand doesn't look perfect but with some practice I think I can get a perfect copy ;) If I had used plaster instead of alginate, I couldn't have gotten these little details (at least not as much as I had with alginate)