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A Material for Creating Culture

Whether on the stage, in sculpture or for restoration work: culture relies heavily on themes, traditions and their staging. State-of-the-art materials are increasingly put into play here – for example, silicones made by WACKER. Discover their amazingly versatile roles in the cultural venues of the world!

Restoring Past Splendors with Silicone Rubber

Whether due to lack of preservation, the ravages of time or unprofessional restoration work: centuries-old historic buildings can crumble in just a few years. One such example is the neo-Baroque casino building of Arad in Romania: built in 1872, this previously magnificent building was long left to decay. But then the new owners commissioned art historian Professor Annamaria Baciu to restore its ornamental grandeur: with infinite patience and love of detail – plus silicone molding materials from WACKER.

More about the restoration of the Casino of Arad

Ornaments, artistically molded

The neo-Baroque style, with its abundance of artistic ornamentation, presented Prof. Baciu and her team with special challenges. Many ornaments were damaged and needed to be extensively replaced. The experts used silicone rubber to create negative molds of intact ornaments, which in turn were used to produce exact copies from the original materials.

Annamaria Baciu and her team used ELASTOSIL® M 4600 and 4630 from WACKER: two pourable, addition-curing two-component silicone rubbers that cure at room temperature. The curing process begins as soon as the A and B components are mixed. Baciu’s team needed around 500 kilograms of this material for the Casino. For making reproductions on vertical surfaces, WACKER’s Stabilizer 43 can be added to make the rubber compound sag-resistant. ELASTOSIL® M is also suitable for modern applications such as elegant and stable concrete or artificial stone moldings.

More about concrete and artificial stone moldings

Curtain-Up For Special Effects

Artificial wounds, scars, bald heads, body parts or even entire bodies: For make-up artists in the film and theater world, there's only one material that can meet the audience's high expectations of realism: silicone rubber from WACKER. It has already regularly made its debut on numerous stages – including at the Munich ‘Kammerspiele’, whose team have become silicone experts.

The stage is set for ELASTOSIL® FX

Infinite hyper-realistic possibilities have opened up for make-up artists using silicone rubber molding materials. This is particularly due to the great light effects that make artificial skin look extremely realistic. The make-up artists painstakingly insert hairs and eyebrows into the silicone, paint on liver spots and pigments until the copy can hardly be distinguished from a real body. ELASTOSIL® FX silicone rubbers do not cause skin irritation, have a high level of reproduction accuracy and their extreme flexibility permits facial expressions and speech.

More about the work of make-up artists

Molds made to measure

ELASTOSIL® FX is a modular system with four different silicone rubbers, plus additives, specially developed for the special effects industry The four types have different Shore hardnesses: FX 28 is used predominantly as a mold-making material for stage and film set decorations, but also for master molds. The softer grades are used in a variety of applications such as making body parts and imitation wounds. The FX Softener additive can also be used with each of the four types to precisely adapt the Shore hardness to an individual working pace.

More about ELASTOSIL® FX

A Master of Molding

Is the act of copying art an art in itself? It certainly is when done at the level at which Arnaud Briand works: the Parisian moldmaker and plaster-caster was awarded the prestigious life-time award “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” in 2015, confirming him as a true master of his craft. As such, he produces plaster copies of the most important sculptures, from ancient to modern, for the French association of national museums. Although the originals are mostly made of marble or bronze, Briand uses a highly modern material for his molds: Silicone rubbers from WACKER

More about the Meilleur Ouvrier Arnaud Briand

Perfectly molded, layer by layer

Briand applies up to four layers of silicone molding material on the original sculptures in order to create a negative mold for the cast. Each layer has its own texture and composition, sometimes catalysts or thickening additives are also used. The experience of this master when handling such materials is of inestimable value.

“While I do have a book with all the formulations, my personal experience is even more important.”

Arnaud Briand, moldmaker and plaster-caster, Meilleur Ouvrier de France (2015)

Two WACKER silicone rubbers are the most suitable for molding complex works of art:

  • ELASTOSIL® M 4514 is ideal for the production of so-called skin molds. This compound can also be used for vertical molding processes by adjusting the concentration of the curing agent or by adding a thickener.
  • ELASTOSIL® M 4630 A/B is used for block molds which are created using highly sophisticated casting techniques. The material does not evidence any chemical shrinkage, so it does not contract.

More about reproduction molds for casting, art and handicrafts

The Release Layer Is All-Important

Silicone moldmaking compounds are suitable for reproducing surface details or entire objects with outstanding accuracy. There is a suitable molding technique for every requirement.

Block-mold casting technique

Molds are highly stable and ready for immediate casting

Skin-mold spreading technique

Low demolding forces, suitable even for extreme undercuts and cavities

Find out more in our interactive PDF about the versatility of molding materials and the way to find the right molding technique for every requirement.

Simply download the PDF in the download box!