Getting to Know Your Liquid Latex
Liquid latex rubber has emerged as a wonderful mold making and casting material. It is not just the cheap price or easy availability that has made it a big draw among the artist communities.
Latex rubber has a lot more going for it. To begin with, it can be used as it is right out of the box. No mixing or weighing is required ever. Just open the lid and pour it out into the mold box or mold. Alternatively, you can even paint the liquid latex on to the model or mold or simply dunk them into the liquid rubber.
But do keep in mind that it will require successive coats or dips to form a sufficiently thick layer of this rubber. Each layer will have to be allowed to dry and cure before proceeding with a subsequent coat. But once done, the latex molds and casts turn out to be quite tough and durable.
To add to this, liquid latex rubber is extremely tear resistant and does not run off from vertical surfaces either. This is why it is the mold making material of choice for capturing molds of architectural details right where they are and even for casting the most abrasive of materials. Think concrete casts and you will quickly get the picture!
When it comes to casting, the is less viscous than its mold making relation. It is very thin and flows fluidly. This is why this rubber is simply poured into the mold and allowed to sit for some time. A thin layer forms inside the mold and the remaining latex rubber is poured out back into the box. It captures excellent details and can be demolded pretty quickly too. Thin skin gloves and props are also possible in this manner. In fact, It is popularly used for making very realistic looking masks.
The same liquid latex rubber also lends itself well for creating special effects for films, television and theatre. All those wrinkles, gashes and other effects that you cannot stop marveling over owe their presence to skillfully applied liquid latex rubber!
A coat of liquid latex can be quite protective too. Tools are regularly dipped in latex rubber to give them a good grip and make them comfortable to use. The coating also insulates the tools from electric shocks. The same coating can make fabrics waterproof - think raincoats!
But do remember that you cannot paint of this rubber using your regular paints and dyes. They are likely to chip or crack pretty seen. You need specially formulated latex paints that can be mixed in the latex itself for intrinsic dyeing or even painted on a latex cast after diluting with a solvent. Various shades and hues are available to serve the purpose of different artists.
In sum, liquid latex rubber is calling you, are you listening?