Subjects in Figure Sculpture: Rubber Mold Making and Casting

Michael Magrath has spent most of his life in the Pacific Northwest. He discovered figurative sculpture while in his early thirties, and has since dedicated his life to the betterment of his craft and the furtherance of sculptural art. Primarily self taught, he has nonetheless studied and taught in a number of rich sculptural environments, including the University of Washington, the Florence Academy of Art in Italy, and Gage Art Academy. Reflecting a decade spent in the building trades as a carpenter, painter, foundryman, and shop technician, he brings a craftsman’s approach to his work. Regardless, his interest in the figure naturally steers toward the narrative and symbolic. Of no particular denomination of religious faith, Magrath attempts to excavate, understand, and depict the universal truths that lie at the core of religious and human experience. His primary focus lies in the embodiment and reinterpretation of mythology in contemporary contexts, and is most interested in its potential to reinvigorate the human spirit, particularly in the face of the cynicism of the modern world.
1:30-4:30 P.M.
All levels welcome
Gage Capitol Hill
Please bring a sculpture suitable for making a mold for the first day of class. You may bring more than one for us to decide which is more suitable for project. We will go over objects on day 1.

Suitable materials include:

  • Oil based clay (sulphur free preferable), water based clay – (leather hard as opposed to bone dry preferred,) wax, metal, any kind of plastic except silicone
  • can be work of your own, or another, or a manufactured, previously molded object (childrens toys for example)

Please note, the larger and more complicated the object, the more expensive and time consuming the mold-making operation

Moldmaking is a materials and time intensive process!

Tuition for this class will cover basic tools and miscellaneous materials needed in the making of molds, including plaster. However, Rubber is a big variable.
Gage will aquire and have available the rubber you need. Students will responsible for the cost of their own mold rubber, and will settle up for the weight of their mold at the end of class.

An average mold of a 24″ figure can easily take anywhere from $75 – $100 worth of rubber. Average student fees in previous quarters have been between $90 and $150.

Student Tools and Materials – you will need to supply:

  • 3 wooden handled spatulas – Non Silicone! Fred Meyer, kitchen store
  • scissors – cheap but strong. Office Supply
  • Box knife or exacto knife – long blade. Hardware store
  • Box rasp. Hardware store
  • min 2 @ 1 qt Plastic Pails w/round bottoms! 1 qt yogurt containers work well. Fiberlay
  • 5 gal bucket. Home Depot, Hardware store, paint store
  • plaster mixing bucket (shallow, wide mouthed, flexible plastic or rubber, 1 – 1.5 gal, rounded bottom). Fiberlay, Salmon Bay, Hardware store
  • Masons sponge. SPS, Hardware store
  • small modeling tools – for repair work. SPS, dick Blick, Artist and Craft
  • Safety Glasses. Home Depot, Hardware store
  • smock or apron Salvation Army, etc
  • Casting clothes, shoes. Salvation Army, etc
  • Beat up old ruler or straight edge, either steel or wooden

Scrounger’s Wish List:

  • 5 gal buckets
  • Burlap sacks. Coffee stores, Home depot
  • Rubber bands or bike inner tubes. Old bike stores
  • Rags

Suppliers List
Fiberlay. Phone: (800) 942-0660; – 2425 NW Market St

Seattle Pottery Supply. Phone: (206) 587-0670 35 South Hanford Seattle , WA 98134

Hardwick & Son’s. Phone: (206) 632-1203 4214 Roosevelt Way Seattle , WA 98101

Artist & Craftsman Supply. Phone: (206) 545-0091 4350 8th Avenue NE, Seattle

AR Products (EZ fin Bubble Sheets). Phone: (562) 907-7707; 11807 7/8 S lauson Ave, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670

Sculpture House.

Platium silicone rubbers:

Urethane rubbers – brushable:

Learn to make a reusable, multi-part rubber mold from an original figure or portrait sculpture. Atelier instructor Mike Magrath will teach you how to create rubber molds that can be used in multiple castings and in a variety of media–a necessary step between clay and bronze. Students of any skill level are welcome, however prior experience in mold-making is helpful. Students are invited to bring a sculpture to use in the mold making process.