So, I’m progressing on casting my chocolate molds. Here’s what I did:
- I bought about twenty buttons from Britex, in sizes ranging from 3/4″ to 1-1/8″. (7/8″ seemed just about perfect.) I picked them primarily for interesting textures or imprinted patterns in the buttons – obviously, the color didn’t matter at all.
- I sawed off a short length of 1/2″ PVC pipe, which turned out to be exactly 3/4″ in outside diameter. This was the perfect size to attach to a 3/4″ button, so I took the flattest one I could find, dripped some wax onto the PVC pipe, and attached the button to the PVC pipe, giving me a nice cylindrical form.
- I took the resulting cylinder and “glued” it to a sheet of cardboard using some more dripped wax, put another metal cylinder (tiny cookie cutter) around the cylinder to hold the mold compound, and mixed up some Dermasil from Douglas and Sturgess . Dermasil is actually designed to be painted onto skin for lifelike hands, (ahem) feet, and, er, other body parts, so I wasn’t using it exactly for its intended purpose, but then, I had a quart of it left over from the chocolate feet incident, and, unlike the food-safe silicone, it sets up quickly. I didn’t have the patience to wait 24 hours for another mold to cure, so I used Dermasil instead.
- Anyway, once the Dermasil was sufficiently hardened, I took the button-PVC cylinder out of the mold, and began casting beeswax cylinders from the mold. As the (still-soft) beeswax cylinder came out of the mold, I pressed a button into it, centered. The buttons were mostly bigger than the cylinder, but that was OK; I was going to fix that later.
- Once I had a couple of button-cylinders cast, I poured a thin sheet of beeswax onto a piece of parchment paper. I sliced the still-warm sheet into lengths about 3/4″ wide, and wrapped the resulting strips around the wax cylinders until they were around the same diameter as the button. Then I smoothed over the joins, and presto! A wax cylinder with a button on top, ready for casting.
Thus far I’ve done eight or nine buttons. I’m about to stop for the night, but tomorrow morning I’ll do the rest of the buttons and then cast the overall mold. I think that, for this year’s chocolates, I’m simply going to do the entire bunch of buttons (lots of different-looking button-chocolates) and see which ones I like best. Next year, I’ll cast just the ones I like in silicone and have a new addition to my “line” of chocolate molds.
I’m enjoying this. It’s pleasant hand-work, it’s creative, and it’s stretching the boundaries of something I haven’t done before. I just hope it works!
I have taken quite a few photos of the process, and if it works, I plan to add it to my website.
(Almost forgot! I made candied lemon and lime peel this afternoon…soaking them in the sugar syrup overnight, will report on the results in the morning 🙂 )