Making Moulds


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Making Moulds from Card (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Tools:

Cereal pack or other printed card


Glue stick

Duct tape

Craft knife

Metal ruler / straight edge

Dental pick or similar carving tool


Hirst Arts pinnacle piece and niches

Stage 1

Click the thumbnail to the left to open the .pdf file. Print out the page at 100%. The spire as printed will be 3" x 3" square at the base x 6" tall.

Stage 2

Use the glue stick to attach the template to the printed side of the cereal pack. The printed surface will form the inside of the mould, so it is important that there are no damaged areas on the card or the plaster could stick permanently to the mould.

Stage 3

Carefully cut out the pieces with a sharp craft knife, and score all the blue fold lines.

Stage 4

Paint a little water onto the printed template, leave for a minute or so, then carefully peel the paper off the card. Remove any remaining glue from the card with moistened kitchen roll.

Stage 5

Carefully fold the card along the score lines, keeping the printed surface on the inside. Use duct tape to fix the pieces together. Run superglue into all the joints to add strength and to waterproof the exposed edges of the card.

Stage 6

Attach the flanges to the open end of both pieces in the same way, and slide the octagonal supports up the tall piece until they are a snug fit. These will help to prevent any distortion when the plaster is added.

Stage 7

The moulds are now ready to use. If you like, you can spray the inner surface with oil to help release the plaster.

Stage 8

To fill the tall section with plaster, sit the mould inside a drinking glass of a suitable size. Then fill and scrape both moulds as usual.

Stage 9

The plaster will take considerably longer to dry than the small Hirst Arts blocks - you may have to leave the casts overnight before they will slip out of the card moulds. You can speed up the process by microwaving the plaster for 30 second bursts, leaving it to cool before heating it again.

Stage 10

Mark and carve mortar lines into the plaster and add texture if you want. If you wish to add Hirst Arts niche pieces, cut appropriate slots with a hacksaw blade.

The pieces in the image are painted in order to show the lines.

Stage 11

Join the pieces together, and  undercoat the plaster. Use decorators filler or caulk to fill any gaps. Once dry the spire can be painted.

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