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Working With Rubber Materials



Working with Vytaflex a rubber material.

You can use other rubber materials there are more than just Vytaflex.

This is just what I'm choosing to work with for this commission.


Advantages of using rubber:

  • Does not melt in high temperatures.

  • Colored pigments do not come off or flake away.

  • durable and water-resistant

  • Flexible and can be glued on to any fabric materials

  • long lasting

Of course every material has disadvantages.



I attached the skulls to wrestling knee pads. It was a specialized commission for wrestling which is why I choose soft rubberized material.


Since Logo has a lot of variations I had to make the design work for the project. It needed to work for wrestling and also fit on the knee pads.


So I created this design to try and cover most of the knee pads. Having a black base helped. Here is the sketch I sent over.







I needed it to be flat and not have a backing. I just sculpted it right over my sketch. The back will be attached on to the knee pad.




















For my mold I am using rebound 25, a silicone that works well with rubber cast. Feel free to use a different material for your mold. Just be sure it works ok with the clay you're using as well as what your cast material is going to be.












I used a thin layer of rebound to save on materials. I created a shell out of plasti-paste for extra support.
























Now that my mold is done I brushed in smooth-on's cast magic silver. The rubber will pick up the silver. This allows you to skip painting. However the dis-advantages to rubber are that they can be hard to paint. There are specialized paints that work on rubber but I have not tired them. So I am not sure that you can get an airbrushed look or detailed shading. Silicone is a good way to get everything you want but it is much more expensive.











I used so-strong black dye from smooth-on to color my rubber. Also when working with this material always use a mask and gloves! I can't stress that enough. When working with any new material read the safety requires first so everyone is safe.


After pouring the rubber in the mold and waiting forever finally success! I did a very messy job on my pour. It was thin and a bit of a weird shape with random pieces. It's ok if you over pour. You can trim the excess with a blade. It seems that it's going to fit perfectly on the knee pad so next step!



I added on more rubber to add the black parts. Cut any excess and carefully glued it on using a rubber glue. This is the brand I used but any kind of rubber glue or shoe glues can also be used.

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