Mushroom Molding Experiment 1
I've been wanting to make a mold of a mushroom for a long time... Imagine those gills in porcelain! So I went through the first of the experiments to figure out the best way to mold a mushroom. I used alginate for this round, mostly because I already know how to use it, and it's a pretty cheap and fast material to use. Alginate is original a dental molding material, made from algae somehow. It is extra soft and flexible, is totally non toxic, and picks up incredible detail. It sets up in only 10 min, so it's fast to see if it worked or not. First, I tried to just simply submerge the portobella in the alginate, but the alginate totally sank into the gills and bonded with the mushroom. Then I tried spraying a new mold release on the mushroom first, and this had the exact same result. Oh well!
So nothing tangible came out of these experiments, but I only spent an hour or so, and I gathered some valuable data! First, I think the alginate being an organic material and a similar texture to the mushroom made it bond too well with the subject. So I think the next step for this issue is to use an inorganic molding material - silicone. Second, the spray mold release didn't seem to do much at all, which could just be a mushroom issue, or its not a great product/is defective. I'll try it on different subject materials, and also read up on it. I have to do a lot more learning about using silicone for molding, but I've watched a few videos, and I have enough to start! Silicone is very expensive, so I will be doing less slapdash experiments.