I actually first got the idea to make mushroom casts when I saw this mushroom. I thought it looked really cool, like the mushrooms in Super Mario Bros with specs all over (amanita) . I grabbed some plaster I had lying around and poured the mold without really having any idea how I would make the finished metal cast. As an amateur with plaster, I didn't mix it good enough and the form I placed around the mushroom was insufficient and allowed the plaster to pour out as you can see in the video. No biggie though, you live you learn.
I experimented with different ways of getting the mushroom debris out (picking at it, heating it, washing it) and in the end I didn't get all of the mushroom out of the mold the first time. I also didn't dry the plaster mold enough (which is why it bubbles so much). I tried to use molten zinc first, thinking that would work better because it's more fluid, but that didn't work out very well. Mainly because I didn't have enough of the mushroom debris removed.
Upon breaking the plaster mold open after the zinc cast attempt, I realized that the mushroom was not fully cast. Many days later I was inspecting the broken plaster pieces to see if I could figure out what went wrong, and I had the idea of piecing the mold back together and trying again. There were many large pieces still intact but I still had to patch several parts with new aluminum.
Anyway, I cast the mushroom and it turned out pretty awesome. Most people I show the casts to say this is the best one.
This was the first one that I cast in plaster, but I actually cast another one with metal first just as a test. You can see that one here: http://www.anthillart.com/castings/081/
After I saw that one turned out good, I decided to go ahead and cast this one. You can see more pictures of this cast here: http://www.anthillart.com/castings/083/
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