Why They Call It A “Mother Mold”

Racing against the heat.  Not fun
working in fiberglass in the heat.
You have to wear long sleeves,
long pants, aprons, etc. 

Oh, we are racing against the temperature.  97 degrees in the warehouse! This temperature is when it is less than 90 outside. Usually the warehouse is 7 degrees higher than the outside temperature. We have moved most of the tiger appendages to the home studio, and do this late at night or early morning when possible. The clay gets very soft in the heat. We will work on the appendages later.  For now, we continue with this massive tiger torso.

We now need to make a mother mold of the Grambling State Tiger. A mother mold is called that because it holds the rubber in place. Mother molds can be made of a variety of materials, but we are doing these mother molds in fiberglass.

The fumes of resin are toxic and can kill brain cells. I’d like us all to keep whatever brain cells we have left.  Here: Allison, James and I get silly with our safety gear in place.

I choose fiberglass because it is lighter. The foundry that is casting this tiger is Shidoni in NM. They work on monuments all of the time.  They need larger mold pieces.  This is good because it makes our mold making job a little easier. But the mother molds often make the mold sections heavy, plus I will be shipping these mold pieces to New Mexico for casting so we are looking for convenience. Fiberglass mother molds win over a plaster mother mold.

Once section of resin/fiberglass takes all day.  We will do the other side of the tiger on Monday and then finally, for the first time since we started on the project in the warehouse, we will take it off of the winch.  Then we will flip the tiger over on its back and work on the belly.  That means, more rubber and more fiberglass.  We really tried to keep the air circulating.  I think we had 10 fans going.  Some fans to pull fresh air in, some to push the toxic air out, and others to keep us from fainting in our safety gear! Many were donated by facebook friends and neighbors.

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