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Conservation

Silicone Molds

photo of a large and rigid mother mold made of plasterFrequently pieces have been lost from museum artifacts. In some cases, we can make a mold from an identical part of the object that is still intact, and use the mold to make castings to restore the loss. These are frequently done with fills for wooden furniture and for picture frames. Usually we use a silicone mold-making compound to make the mold, and make castings out of plaster of Paris or stable synthetic resins. In the photograph, a hanging wooden finial had been lost from a piece of furniture, and it was restored using just such a plaster fill. The plaster has to be sealed and consolidated with a resin first, and then it can be painted to match the original.