I’ve been playing with resin of late.
It’s a pretty cool medium. I think I played with it about 40 years ago when we embedded things in liquid plastic in first grade when we were learning about fossils and amber.
Resin’s come a long way since then. There are whole websites devoted to the stuff!
For one thing, it’s super easy to make your castings glow in the dark! I love glow in the dark things, so this is just an added bonus.
It’s also easy to make your own silicone molds. All you need is some molding putty (the same stuff that they use at the dentist’s to make impressions of your teeth). The one caveat is that once you mix the two parts, it sets up wicked fast, so you need to move quickly.
You need to have the item you want to mold handy.
Make a flattened ball of putty and press your item (in this case, Jacoby’s paw) into the silicone (The unopened jars and my example are two different brands, so they’re different colours, but they work the same way. There’s also a purple brand).
It really takes only about 30 seconds to set.
And you have this little rubber paw print!
You can make as many as your subject has patience for.
For our first go, Jake and I made two. The putty compound on the one on the right wasn’t mixed quite well enough, so it’s a little defective. I’ve managed to make two castings with it so far, but it probably won’t last as long as the other one. It’s tricky: you need to mix the compound well, but not so well that it sets up before you can make your mold! The one on the left is a little thin on the bottom (you can kind of see through Jake’s palm pad in one spot); you also need to make sure your flattened ball is thick enough before you press down.
Mix and pour your resin into the molds. These are clear resin mixed with red glow in the dark powder. It takes at least 8 hours to harden, but to be on the safe side give it 24 hours before demolding.
But when they’re done…they’re really wonderful! You can see the little hairs between the toes, the wrinkles on the paw pads, and even the claws!
You can play with your cat’s paws to your heart’s content and you won’t bother them at all. It’s a win-win for everyone!