Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The jury is out.............

Having read that Ultra Chic casting slip was supposed to be 'the gold standard of porcelain' perhaps I expected too much.

However, to say I'm unimpressed is something of an understatement.

I've done 3 hours of casting this afternoon, and have only 4 undamaged toy doll head/torso and limb sets to show for it.  If I'd been using Seeley's slip I could have cast around 40 completely perfect sets in the same time.

Fortunately, I only cast a few moulds to test it out initially and found the following problems.

  • It sets up way quicker than Seeley's, almost twice as fast, so I can only cast half the quantity of molds otherwise I run out of time.
  • Almost every mould, when opened, contained a cracked casting, usually around the neck, wrists or ankles, which I assumed was because these thinner areas had dried out too quickly and/or been left too long in the mould.
However, cutting the length of time the castings were left in the moulds caused even more problems.

A quick Google revealed further information suggesting that the slip was too thick.  It looked absolutely fine to me..... the consistency of single cream, but apparently that wasn't thin enough.  So I added very small amounts of water until the end of a wooden spoon, when pushed to the bottom of the container, 'bounced' back out again.

The resulting slip looks way too thin and I suspect that it will seep out beyond the seam lines, making it difficult to open the moulds without damaging the castings, which is what I am seeking to avoid.

I'm casting yet another test mould at the moment to see whether the thinned slip will release easily.  The mould has already had 15 minutes set up time and it still won't release so I'm not hopeful.


Update - Buggrit..... castings still cracked despite thinned slip and further various attempted set up times.  


If anyone out there in the blogosphere has any hints, tips or suggestions on using Ultra Chic I'd be extremely grateful to hear them.  

Alternatively, if anyone knows the whereabouts of a gallon or two of Seeley's porcelain slip for sale, please, PLEASE.....FOR THE LOVE OF GOD let me know.


Elga said...

Oops, that is not good news, did you ever use Bell's slip? I don't even know if it is still out there but I know the dollmakers here used Seeley's and Bell's when I used to buy greenware in another age!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I wish I could help...but
I know nusseeng!
as they say.
Good luck with your search Surely someone on our extensive mini network has some Seeleys somewhere?

Angela said...

How fustrating! I wish I could help but I've never worked with porcelain.

Are you a member of the minidoll list? Maybe you could ask there as there are a few porcelain doll makers and the topic of slip crops up now and again.

Angela :o)

Sandra Morris said...

Elga.... yes I did use Bell's slip years and years ago but wasn't keen on it. I don't think it's made any more.

Sue & Angela.... I've posted on a few of the Yahoo forums about this but have yet to get any responses. Hope I get something sorted soon though....