Well aren't I just the silliest of sillies. Dory left me a lovely comment following my last blog and I thought I was responding to Dory but it turned out I was actually deleting my blog piece. Not to worry, it wasn't exactly a literary masterpiece.
Anyway! Today I wanted to start talking about silicone softness.
There are two types of silicone used to make dolls, platinum silicone and tin silicone. Tin silicone generally comes as a pourable silicone and a liquid catalyst which is mixed with the silicone. The catalyst makes the silicone cure, generally tin silicone is poorer quality, doesnt come in the lovely super soft softnesses, and it breaks down much quicker than platinum silicone and being harder it tears easily. So we are not going to talk about tin silicone.
So platinum silicone is the stuff they make medical prosthetics from, it is super soft, very stable and lasts a lifetime.
Platinum silicone we use for making silicone babies is so soft it comes with its own scale of softness, the 00 scale.
Okay so I might have just made that up - the bit about platinum having its own scale of hardness. But it is super super soft and wonderful quality.
So there are three hardness scales when it comes to measuring any rubber (silicone rubber IS classed as a rubber, similar to latex rubber, it is referred to as silicone rubber). The A scale is the general scale for measuring rubber softness.
As you can see from the scale, a pencil eraser is a Shore Hardness of A40. If you look up at the top '00' scale, you can see that a Shore Hardness of A40 is approximately the same as a Shore Hardness of 00-78. That is quite hard.
The silicones we use for making and painting our babies are on the 00 scale. However, some of the mould making silicones are harder and are measured on the A scale. Therefore you have to be careful to check when choosing silicone, how hard the silicone is.
Ecoflex 20 is measured on the soft 00 scale, and is 00-20. Ecoflex 30 is 00-30. Ecoflex 10 is 00-10. You get the idea. Ecoflex is a soft platinum silicone.
Now ... Platsil Gel 00 is measured on the softer 00 scale (the name is a giveaway) so when I talk about using Platsil for fixing and painting babies, I am talking about Platsil Gel 00. This has a softness of 00-30 and can be used for pouring babies, it is excellent quality just like Ecoflex.
However ... Platsil Gel 10 many would assume has a softness of 00-10 but it does NOT. Platsil 10 is measured on the A hardness scale, and has a hardness of A10 (around 00-55). You really don't want to pour a baby with a Shore Hardness of A10.
So the difference between Platsil Gel 00 and Platsil Gel 10 is IMMENSE.
I will talk again about silicone softnesses and properties, the viscosity, cure time etc, but a little at a time, the thing is to ALWAYS read the technical data sheet when using a new product. Don't even buy it until you have studied the technical data sheet, study it and understand it.
This is a section from a technical data sheet for platsil. You can download the technical data sheets off the suppliers websites. They are fascinating, and they tell you everything you will ever want to know about how the product you are buying will handle, how thick it is for pouring, how much time you have before it starts to 'gel', and how soft the silicone will be when it's cured.
Another time I will talk about various other things to do with silicones but for now remember the Shore Hardness Scale. So many times people ask me "is Dragonskin 10 the same softness as Ecoflex 10?" The answer of course is NO. But everybody can find out that for themselves by simply checking the Short Hardness of the silicone.
Hi Dory! Thank you so much for leaving your comment - and for your decorator's tips!! thank you for the lovely feedback, it is very much appreciated xx
Well hello there, I hadn't realised anybody was reading the blog but seeing the comments there are a few. It feels a bit like writing a diary, you assume nobody is going to read it. Have to remember not to write anything too embarrassing.
But hey, when has that ever stopped me.
First of all, there has been a message from Lynne: Hi Carolyn, lovely that you have this blog, although up until now, I didn’t really understand what a blog was lol!
I must say first, that you have always been very kind,helpful and patient with me right from the beginning when I started to take an interest in silicone babies and I will always be grateful to you for that.
What I wanted to ask following what you answered to Kimberly, is the rosy flesh pigment from Bentleys that you mentioned, would it be ok to use this pigment with my platsil silicone please as it looks a good colour for the repairs and I struggle to get a good colour for this?
Thank you so much Lynne for commenting, and for your lovely feedback. Oooh and to say I'll be working on the flange for your head in the next few days (that must sound so weird).
So, yes - on the whole I've found that the pigments designed for silicone do state they are suitable for both platinum and tin silicone. I have used many different brands of pigments and have found that although the more professional pigments like SAM and Enfis do a fabulous range of the colours, I have also bought the cheaper brands for pigmenting the pours because I use such a lot. When I started out I used the cheap ones you can get off Amazon, made by Polycraft I believe. If you read the blurb they are suitable for platinum and tin silicones, and I can confirm they are absolutely fine. So for flesh tone I used to use 1/3 Flesh and 2/3 White in the mix. And this made a really ok pale flesh colour.
So to answer your question Lynne, the Rosey Flesh is perfect for using with Platsil too, I use it to do my fixes as it matches perfectly your pour colour. But for the fixes, always under-pigment the silicone so it is more transparent than the base colour - it blends in so much better that way.
Then a couple of years ago I found the Rosey Flesh from Bentleys (for any overseas peeps, Bentleys are our main smooth-on supplier in the UK). These pigments are not made by Smooth-On. And I really like the colour without any mixing. So I use that now, it saves on time mixing white with the standard flesh.
I also like to use the cheaper pigments for colouring my mould silicone, generally I use any of the colours that I probably wouldn't use for painting.
So, short and sweet for now, as I've got a lot to do today - mould making. I'm working on four moulds at the moment:
Bye for now,
A question I am asked a LOT is "why is my silicone paint not curing on my doll?"
Ok so there are a number of possible reasons, and you can try and work out the reason by doing a few things.
For the benefit of this I am assuming you are using quality platinum silicone such as psycho paint, and a pigment that is intended for silicone.
First of all - is the silicone curing ok in the pot. In other words, you have mixed the paint in the pot and used it to paint the baby. The paint on the baby had not cured ... but go back to the pot and take a look, is it cured or is it still runny/sticky?
I hope this is helpful.
Happy Easter everybody!
You might wonder what I am doing on Easter Sunday, sitting at my computer writing my blog. I don’t have an answer for that except that I clearly lead a very sad life lol.
Anyway this week I wanted to answer a lovely lady called Kimberley, who took the time to read my blog and comment on it, her comment was:
“Looking forward to this blog! If possible can you blood about the layers of paint and how u mix this to get the perfect shades you use. I watched all of your videos but sometimes get lost in how much product you use and colors . Especially lips as I love the Lip color of your babies!!”
First of all I presume you mean can I blog, not can I blood – it looks like a typo but a very weird typo when you read my answer …
So I’ll start at the end and say that the lip colour I use the most of is the SilcPig (Smooth on) colour called Blood (isn’t that weird considering the typo above – oooooooo ). I really love this colour and although I generally use SAM colours and more recently the Enfis colours also, I have never found a colour to match Blood for being useful for blushing and general colours. So the lips I will swipe with other colours as I go along but I do find that Blood is a really lovely colour for the lips.
So layers of paint, it varies from baby to baby. I usually try and do a blue undertones, very faint colour. Blue veins, again very faint. Then a kind of purple undertones and shadows. All these layers very faint. I have recently been using Enfis colours and hope to be stocking them in my online shop soon, and when I do I’ll be demonstrating some of the colours in that range.
After the undertones, I use blood as a basic mottling layer. I will use another one or two colours for the mottling – one slightly more purple and one more salmon. All very faint.
Then I might go back over the veins and some blushing. Again I really love the Blood colour I probably use it too much but I find it is neither too pink (that horrible moment the next day when you see your baby in a different light and realise your baby is too pink or too red!!!
Two colours I love to use towards the end – magenta – this is a SAM colour and the pigment is very strong so be careful. So generally it’s a wash over the whole baby checking the colour as I go, and dab off again. I’ll go over sponges another time because you have to be careful with sponges.
The other colour is a yellow, sometimes depending on what colour is needed, I will use a faint wash of yellow ochre – but only over the more fleshy areas, the thighs, the tummy. It really makes the skin colour ‘pop’. Sometimes though, on a younger baby where you maybe want more colour, I will use a yellowey lime-green, really bright, and again this on the fleshy areas, it tones down the reds and gives a feeling of more fleshy depth.
There is no right or wrong way or colours to use and I’ll be talking again in snatches about colours. I have come across some really great new colours in the Enfis range, but the SAM colours are so useful too.
I hope this has answered your question Kimberley, please do comment and let me know.
Anybody else who has questions please do feel free to comment on my blog asking questions and I will address them as and when I can. I would like this to be a conversation with several strands rather than me just sitting here talking to myself. Which I do quite well as you may have gathered from my videos.
Anyway enjoy the rest of your Easter weekend, be safe, be happy, and always enjoy whatever it is you choose to do.
Love and hugs, Carolyn x
Ok so there are a lot of different types of silicone. There is tin silicone and there is platinum silicone.
Platinum silicone is the super soft high grade silicone that we use for making our silicone babies, it comes in two parts - part A and part B.
Platinum silicone is very sensitive to certain products and if it comes into contact with these products it will inhibit the cure. The major products to avoid are - Sulphur (sulfur), Latex, and Tin silicone. There are other things that it will sometimes react to unexpectedly. So we need to be very careful we do NOT allow our uncured platinum silicone to come into contact with any of these items.
So as a rule of thumb...
- make sure the clay you are using does not contain sulphur.
- make sure the gloves you use do not contain latex.
- if you use sponges to paint with, make sure they do not contain latex.
- make sure the silicone you use to make your mould is also platinum silicone and NOT tin silicone.
If you are in any doubt as to whether a product can be used (eg some of the wedge sponges are labelled as latex-free but still contain something that inhibits the cure, and some nitrile gloves contain something that is problematic) so if it is the first time you have used a product, better to do a quick test. To do a test, paint some platinum silicone onto the product (eg a sponge or a glove) and leave to cure. If it cures ok, then go ahead and use the product. If it remains tacky or sticky, then don't use it. Simple as that.
Hi there. I'm going to be posting fairly regularly (I hope) basically anything related to making silicone babies - sculpting, moulding, pouring, pulling, painting, rooting.
So if you would like information on a specific subject, please do let me know and I'll try and cover it best I can.
I've been sculpting, moulding, pouring and finishing my own dolls for 7 or 8 years now, it's a fairly isolated life filled with clay, tools, and sticky stuff. I am going to be sharing things with you, tips and tricks for making babies as well as some inane ramblings just because that's who I am. Hope you enjoy.