Making the Mold for the Big Nativity Statues

The mold for the Big Nativity statues is made using silicone rubber and fiberglass. Making molds for larger than life statuary is complicated and the consequences of a mistake can be disastrous both in time and money. The ability to make great mold is just as important as being able to make a great sculpture, because your castings of the sculpture are only as good as the mold.

The mold making process is very time consuming and expensive.  The silicone rubber alone used to make molds of the Big Nativity statues cost over $10,000.  In addition there is thousands of dollars in fiberglass, resin, brushes, solvents, and other materials, not to mention labor. The molds are made by applying coats of silicone rubber over the statues.

Once the statues are covered in silicone, a mother mold is placed over the silicone.  This is known as the mother mold.  The mother mold for the Big Nativity is made of fiberglass, and provides form for the silicone rubber mold. The mother mold is then cleaned, ground, and sanded.  The mother mold is removed piece by piece and then re-assembled to create a cradle to hold the silicone mold sections.  The sections are then put together in preparation for making castings of the statues.

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