I have noticed a very curious thing. If I mix a bucket of silicone and pour it into the mould, then a few minutes later mix another lot of silicone in the same bucket, it takes on the cure time of the first mix - even if there is just a tiny bit of the first mix in the bottom of the bucket.
In other words, mixing fresh silicone in a bucket with silicone that has started to gel, seems to speed up the curing of the fresh silicone.
For example, last night I mixed a bucket of siilcone and poured it into the mould. No issues at all. Then about 15 minutes later (it was a warm evening) I poured some fresh silicone into the bucket I had used for the previous pour. (Remember ecoflex is supposed to have a pot life of 30 minutes).
As I mixed it, I immediately noticed lumps forming as it started to cure before my eyes and I started to panic. As a result I poured it straight into the mould quickly without waiting to degass it, and the end result was a baby full of bubbles that I have to pour again. ***sigh***
But I have noticed this phenomenon with other silicones too, psycho paint - if you top up the pot with fresh A & B even well before it has cured, the new fresh silicone cures at about the same rate as the remnants in the pot.
So just in case you notice your silicone curing far too fast, reflect if this might be a factor.
I recently made the big decision to no longer exhibit at the Peterborough or Basildon doll shows, however I will be doing the Doncaster Doll Show, the Pudsey Doll and Teddy Fair and the Gaydon Doll & Teddy Fair between now and the end of the year.
Some have asked why I'm no longer going to be exhibiting at the Discover Doll Shows. I have no argument with Cathy she is a lovely person and does a grand job. I just feel that the shows are not going the way I'm totally comfortable with, they seem to be increasingly overwhelmed by a particular personality/family and I observed some underhand goings-on that I was extremely uncomfortable with and want no part in.
So ... onwards and upwards! Can't wait for the three shows over the next three months, have been to each of them in the past and love the atmosphere!
Hopefully see lots of familiar faces at the Doncaster show on Sunday 4th September!!
OMG I've just gone into my suppliers website to order some silicone and it has gone up AGAIN. Since the beginning of the year it had already gone up form £179 to £279 a gallon (that's more than 50% increase), and today its gone up again to £336 a gallon. So in 6 months it has gone up by around 88% !!!!
Anyway to calm myself down I am reminding myself of my new baby which I've released today, my little Joseph. Will post some prototype photos below for no good reason except I love the photos.
Right think I'll just assume the foetal position under a table in a darkened room and suck my thumb whilst rocking gently back and forth for a little while whilst I work up how I'm going to afford £336 per gallon of silicone!!
I'm so excited to see this little guy in silicone. I've started moulding him - three coats of silicone on so far, going well.
It takes about an hour for each coat to cure so by the time I finish painting it on him I have to wait around for around a half hour. First coat was clear, second coat yellow and third coat pink. I'll report back later with updates.
I've been getting all my order work wrapped up this week, the last of the July orders out and been working on a couple of little magical babies for a regular customer in the US which I should be finished by the end of the weekend ... and I've got a clear month to work on my new sculpts.
I've got two on the go called Lorimer and Blythe, but this little mite pushed his way through the queue and insisted on being worked on first ... this one I am calling Joseph. Have to say I'm really pleased with him, he will be around 18" long I think when finished, a nice size for silicone and maybe around 6 lbs.
I've also been doing some work on the website, all the old websites (Our World of Chi, Making Silicone Babies and Silicone Magic) are now pointing to this one domain so I'll be better able to handle messages and updates, and its easier for everybody to be assured that I'm the real me!!!
Anybody who has been following my facebook pages, youtube videos and websites may be wondering what the heck I'm up to now ... but don't worry it's just my brand that is changing - I'm not going anywhere or doing anything differently.
Most of you in the doll world will be aware of what is going on with illegal kits and dolls being presented for sale over the internet and it is a real worry. Like most doll sculptors and artists, I also have seen photos of my dolls presented in these scam sites for crazy low prices where you just know some unsuspecting person will be excitedly waiting the arrival of their new doll having paid across hundreds of pounds/dollars, and no such doll will arrive.
It is not easy for customers to work out what is real and what is not. How do they know when going onto a facebook page or website for a reborn nursery that those dolls really are being sold by the artist. Recently a blank kit I sold to a customer for painting, was beautifully painted and rooted and sold on to her customer. Unfortunately those photos of the finished kit were copied and another person called herself a nursery name and offered the same doll for sale. Even safety photos can no longer be guarantee of their person having the doll in their possession, as we have all seen photos of dolls with photoshopped 'safety' details added to them.
I feel it might be easier if we artists start using our real names for trading, rather than nursery name. So, if I sell a doll from a website that shows me as Carolyn Doughty, has full details about me and where I live, and contact details etc, and the customer gets a paypal invoice from me under my own name or bank details and the name on the bank account matches my name ... that is a good indication that they are getting a doll from a well known and trusted artist? So I am changing my trading name to Carolyn Doughty Dolls. Anybody who deals with me, once I've changed all the names and branding across will get communication directly from me under my name, and payments will be made to me, nobody else.
Anybody buying a blank kit from me and selling on the finished baby, is welcome to inform me who they have sold their baby to so that I can keep a record of who owns what, so if that customer wanted to sell the baby on, again they can refer back to me to check the sale is authentic. Similarly anybody buying a baby from me and selling it on, again is welcome to let me know so that I can keep a record of ownership for future sales.
So over the next few weeks I'll be changing my branding to Carolyn Doughty Dolls, and if you need to look me up just simply type my name into your browser and there I will be!!! (Hopefully!!!)
Sculptor and silicone doll artist. I sculpt my own babies, mould and pour them, paint, root them. Also make blank silicone doll kits, and silicone painting materials.