Developed by Pink House Studios, Ply-O-Life is a non-toxic and odor-less platinum-base silicone rubber that may be applied directly to the skin. Wherever hair is to be included in the mold, the hair must be well-coated with cholesterol hair conditioner and then petroleum jelly; this includes eyebrows, eyelashes, and any facial hair. You must also apply a very generous coat of Neutrogena Hand cream (preferably); or a very thin coat of petroleum jelly to the skin of the entire area that is to be molded. The presence of Neutrogena or petroleum jelly on the skin tends to minimize the "suction-hold" of the cured Ply-O-Life mold on the skin, allowing for quicker removal. Even women often have very fine facial hair, and the light application of cholesterol hair conditioner and then petroleum jelly will help prevent these hairs from sticking to the mold.
(Users of Gord Smith's FX Smith methodology,
please see important note following this information.)
The advantage that a Ply-O-Life mold has over one made with alginate is that resins may be cast directly into the Ply-O-Life mold without the use of a separator; also, Ply-O-Life will adhere to itself. Unless there are extreme undercuts involved, it will not tear when the positive cast is being removed. The mold is therefore reusable. Besides resin, one may cast wax, plaster, Forton etc. into a Ply-O-Life mold.
Use of Ply-O-Life is demonstrated in two of our technical video tapes, "Better One Piece Head Molds From Life" and "Success With Full Body Molds and Forton Castings." Ply-O-Life is a two component product. Equal portions of each component are mixed together, with approximately 41/2-minutes of working time. (We sell pairs of 2-oz. syringes for conveniently pre-measuring and dispensing Ply-O-Life to be mixed.) The material will set-up completely in about 12-minutes. Nylon screening or cloth may be embedded in a reinforcing layer of Ply-O-Life (once the first layer has begun to set) by applying a second layer of Ply-O-Life over the first and sandwiching the screening in with the fresh material. This is not necessary, but it will produce a mold that is extremely tear-resistant. Your screening must be completely coated with Ply-O-Life , otherwise, the bandages will stick to the screening, making removal of the bandage shell from the Ply-O-Life difficult. A rigid outer shell of plaster bandages may then be applied to support the mold. Before applying the plaster bandages over Ply-O-Life, put a generous coat of petroluem jelly over the Ply-O-Life so that the bandages may be easily removed.
Even though Ply-O-Life is superior to alginate for molding hair, eyebrows and around the nostrils, it is NOT EVER to be used for molding wide-open mouths (for this, use alginate instead) because the cured material is much more rigid (though still flexible) when molded in a mass, and will resist rapid removal. Parted lips with teeth held together may be molded with Ply-O-Life.
Ply-O-Life 's 4 1/2-minute working time (plus 5-minutes to a fully cured state) is calculated for room-temperatures below 70-degrees Fahrenheit. For every one-degree of room-temperature above 70-degrees, fifteen-seconds of working time will be lost. Storing your Ply-O-Life in a cool place to lower its temperature will give you a little more working time. You need not wait the full 5-minutes until it reaches a fully cured state before applying the support shell; you may begin it as soon as thePly-O-Life is set (no longer workable). By the time you have finished applying the support shell, the Ply-O-Life beneath it will be fully cured and ready for removal from the model.
To quickly and thoroughly blend the base and catalyst, we recommend that you use a small Jiffy Mixer (see our product list for ordering information). A Jiffy Mixer is a stainless steel mixing attachment that fits into the chuck of an ordinary electric drill.
A spatula, such as our #71 ten-inch Steel Spatula is an efficient tool for application of thePly-O-Life.
To clean-up uncured Ply-O-Life, use a solvent such as acetone (observing the appropriate precautions).
Besides the fact that a Ply-O-Life mold (unlike an alginate mold) is a permanent mold for multiple castings, Ply-O-Life has additional advantages over alginate; because the material conforms so closely to the skin even after curing, fresh Ply-O-Life may be applied over-lapping cured Ply-O-Life and no "lap-lines or seams will appear where they meet. The close conformation prevents seepage of the fresh material beneath the cured material.
NOTE: Until you are familiar with applying the material, we do not recommend that you mix-up more than a total weight of 1/4-lb. of Ply-O-Life at a time (2-oz. base and 2-oz. catalyst)
There is a possibility that applying Ply-O-Life against some surfaces made of latex or other rubbers (ie. some bald caps and certain rubber gloves ) may inhibit the cure of thePly-O-Life . A test should be made before you proceed to use Ply-O-Life on any rubber surface to determine whether or not the cure will be inhibited. Also, some skin lotions (such as aloe vera) will inhibit the cure of Ply-O-Life. We suggest that you make a small test of Ply-O-Life on the model's skin if he or she will be wearing any skin lotion on areas to be molded.
We recommend that you apply a small amount of thePly-O-Life to the subject's wrist, sometime prior to making your molds, in order to determine if any sensitivity to the material exists. While we have made every effort to ensure that Ply-O-Life is non-toxic and safe to use, there will be individuals who are sensitive to almost any material, organic or inorganic. When doing even a test, remember that without a release of cholesterol hair-dressing and then petroleum, Ply-O-Life will stick to arm/wrist hairs. If the model's hair in the test area cannot be made to lie flat, the hair should be shaved-off before the test is made.
We also recommend that you add 25% to 30% of Silicone Fluid to the Ply-O-Life; at least to the first coat; but you can add it to all the coats if you like. The exact percentage of Silicone Fluid is not crucial. This additive will give it a lower viscosity to ensure better surface contct with less chance of trapping little air bubbles. The addition of Silicone Fluid will also extend your working time a little.
Making Ply-O-Life molds over clothing:
Ply-O-Life can also be used as a molding material over clothing; but the clothing should be generously coated with petroleum jelly. The petroleum jelly will soak into the clothing; then, even though the cloth is well-soaked with this "release agent" and retains a little on the surface, your Ply-O-Life mold will pick-up the texture of the fabric and clothing contruction details. If your mold seems to really "stick" in the process of trying to remove it from the dressed model, it may be necessary to cut the clothing away from the model, still attatched to the mold; then the clothing may be "peeled" or pulled out of the mold. This is more likely to occur with clothing or fabric having a more open-weave. Jeans, for instance, don't create that big a problem in removal, so long as they are well-coated with petroleum jelly to begin with. Leather also may be very successfully molded, as long as there is some petroleum jelly on the surface (even if it soaks-in.) Obviously, there will always be some affect on the original clothing that is molded, even if it is only that it becomes saturated in petroleum jelly; so you must be prepared for this sort of damage.
Users of Gord Smith's FX Smith methodology please take note: If you are using FX Smith methodology, it is essential that you add between 25% and 30% Silicone Fluid to your Ply-O-Life; otherwise, it will be extremly rigid in thick-section, and when you push against the "buttons" to facilitate release from the support shell, you will cause bruising to your model.
4-lb. kit (2-lbs. base and 2-lbs. catalyst) $150.00
20-lb. bulk kit (10-lbs. base and 10-lbs. catalyst) $700.00
40-lb bulk kit (20-lbs. base and 20-lbs. catalyst) $1,400.00
80-lb bulk kit (40-lbs. base and 40-lbs. catalyst) $2,800.00
(Molding one full head of average size requires approximately four-and-one-half-lbs. of Ply-O-Life.)
Add between 5% and 20% of Silicone Fluid to your Ply-O-Life to increase it's "flow (lower the viscosity). This will also give a little more working time and extend your more expensive Ply-O-Life.
Fill separate syringes with equal amounts of Ply-O-Life base and catyalyst, then dispense and mix as needed; no waste and no mess. Each syringes can hold 70 cc. or 2 1/4-oz. of base or catlayst - an ideal amount for controllable mixing. Any base or catalyst remaining in the syringe tips after dispensing may be saved for later use.
$8.50 per pair (one for catalyst and one for base)
Great for reinforcingPly-O-Life molds! (see"Better One Piece Head Molds from Life"
and "Success With Full Body Molds and FORTON Castings." )
12-inches X 36-inches for $1.50