|Working with fiberglass is my big exception to the 'never wear gloves' rule. I bought a box of latex gloves that were supposed to be lightly powdered, but I had to powder my hands to get them on. I'm not sure if it was that they were the cheapest gloves available, because of the recent loss of hair by force or razor, because of the subsequent short hairs breaking through the skin, the uncharacteristically hot and sticky weather, or because of the fibers of glass and fibreglass resins, but my hand began to itch and sweat more each day of casting. When up around 100 degrees-using 1/3 of the catalyst called for so that I had 15 minutes of working time. I'd pull my hands out of the gloves leaving over an ounce of water in each and more dripping to the cement. A quick plunge into the bucket with plaster detritus in the bottom. Grab a towel and dry them off and rub off the smears of resin that always find a spot just at the wrist where the gloves stop. It burns! If there is no rush, head inside to escape the fumes for a moment. Lotion if it is a long pause. Grab another towel and dry off the excess. Too much causes the powder that is coming to turn into play-do in the latex saunas.|
|Break over, back to it if the temperature is good; 70 to 90 (ok 100 a couple of times). Make sure there is a pile of cut up glass cloth and matte. Stick the fuzzy scissors where I can reach them in a hurry. Powder the gloves, pour resins, add the catalysts while stirring. GO! Splash it in grab some cloth, brush it in, soak it good. More cloth, more speed. Do the details first-the big areas as the first signs of setting start turning the thin honey to strawberry preserves. Gotta move! Faster! Still have half the batch and maybe 3 minutes. Bigger pieces of cloth. Use your hands-don't tear the gloves on the sharp edges of previous runs. Little pokes infuse resin subcutaneously. Almost got it all spread out. Check where you've been for pools. Push them up the sides-its thick enough to stick there now. Breathe! Get the last bit of resin out of the brush. Strip gloves off into the trash can and plunge hands into the plaster chum bucket.|
Repeat about 30 times or until you run out of time.
breaking mold to remove cast
|After the first couple coats of bondo and fiberglass resin lined the mold, I added some wood for support and to give me a way to keep them upright. In retrospect, I would have laid up some resin and cloth layers first, but time was getting short, the mutimedia laminate of resin, wood and cloth was sealed together in many frenetic rounds of quickly applied goo and cloth and matte.|
[not part of main story-The white face mold was made of me 10 years earlier when I first started thinking about body casting. When the mold this time did not include the nose and mouth region, I used clay pressed into the decade old mask to reconstruct the missing parts.]
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