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How To Make Pattern Stamp

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My son works at an aquarium where there is 14 ft anaconda. It just shed its skin and my son has all 14 ft of it. It shed as a tube that has collapsed a bit.

 

How can I make a texture pattern or stamp from this?

 

Jed

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Pardon me if I at first say ... ICK!

 

To make a stamp I would use liquid latex. You apply thin coats with a soft brush ... Let it dry between each coating. When you get it as thick as you want you can just wash out the skin. I sometimes make these kinds of stamps thin enough to wrap around a pot and other times thick enough to push into clay. Since you have the whole skin you could make several different ones. Liquid latex will preserve the small details.

In order to make the positive stamp you might be able to coat the latex with some kind of mold release and make another latex stamp on the inside??? But I'm not sure since I have never tried it.

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I

Pardon me if I at first say ... ICK!.

ICK! is right. It is draped over a couple of chairs right now. I thought about inserting a long balloon into the skin, then blowing the balloon up and casting in latex. I thought it would make an interesting pattern on a cylinder mug. There would an infinite ways of glazing. I thought teenage boys would love it.

 

Jed

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yuck!                    is it possible to put a perfectly sized cardboard tube inside a length of the skin and just roll it out?   with some kind of spray on preservative like the stuff used to keep pastel drawings from smudging?  14 feet will allow a number of poorer choices before you get it right.

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I have used a lot of castable silicone in my day. It is a two-part system, mixed 1 : 1. The raw ingredients are thick, like cold honey. Once they are weighed out, you mix well. This catches a lot of air bubbles, but if you are not fortunate enough to have a vacuum chamber, simply wait for a minute or two (for the larger bubbles to rise and pop), and then pour from high enough to create a very thin stream, which tends to pop the remaining bubbles.

To prepare a snakeskin, I would first glue it down (probably using 3M 77 glue spray) until you are confident it can't float up. Then cover the edges with moist clay, so no silicone can seep under the skin. This is hugely important! I normally build a shallow box around the model, to contain the seepage of the silicone. Believe me, over time, it will seep everywhere. To make a cheap box, I just use carefully cut strips of 1/4" foam core board (paper on both sides with foam in the middle), held in place with a hot glue gun. When the strips are mounted, go over all edges with another strip of hot glue. Finally, I give the entire inside of the box (especially the model) a spray of Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Spray as a release agent. When the clear spray is dry, you pour the silicone. 

After 24 hours or so, the silicone should have set into a good firm rubber. Peel it off the model, and you will have a perfect negative of the snake skin. A stamp model can then be made inside this rubber negative, using anything you want........from flexible latex, to plaster.

Look, I know this seems very involved, if you've never done it before. But once you get used to it, the results are so gratifying, you'll ask yourself why you even resisted! 

Anyone who wants to know details can feel free to email me at gmosko@ghvallry.net. My name is Gil Mosko, and thanks for reading.

ChenowethArts likes this

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I have used a lot of castable silicone in my day. It is a two-part system, mixed 1 : 1. The raw ingredients are thick, like cold honey. Once they are weighed out, you mix well. This catches a lot of air bubbles, but if you are not fortunate enough to have a vacuum chamber, simply wait for a minute or two (for the larger bubbles to rise and pop), and then pour from high enough to create a very thin stream, which tends to pop the remaining bubbles.

To prepare a snakeskin, I would first glue it down (probably using 3M 77 glue spray) until you are confident it can't float up. Then cover the edges with moist clay, so no silicone can seep under the skin. This is hugely important! I normally build a shallow box around the model, to contain the seepage of the silicone. Believe me, over time, it will seep everywhere. To make a cheap box, I just use carefully cut strips of 1/4" foam core board (paper on both sides with foam in the middle), held in place with a hot glue gun. When the strips are mounted, go over all edges with another strip of hot glue. Finally, I give the entire inside of the box (especially the model) a spray of Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Spray as a release agent. When the clear spray is dry, you pour the silicone. 

After 24 hours or so, the silicone should have set into a good firm rubber. Peel it off the model, and you will have a perfect negative of the snake skin. A stamp model can then be made inside this rubber negative, using anything you want........from flexible latex, to plaster.

Look, I know this seems very involved, if you've never done it before. But once you get used to it, the results are so gratifying, you'll ask yourself why you even resisted! 

Anyone who wants to know details can feel free to email me at gmosko@ghvallry.net. My name is Gil Mosko, and thanks for reading.

Sorry, I can't type. My CORRECT email is:  gmosko@ghvalley.net  . Thanks.

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