I recently played with a new product from Tiffany Windsor called Cool2Cast. Tiffany is the daughter of Aleene….as in Aleene’s Tacky Glue in the gold Bottle. I know most of you have a gold bottle somewhere in your craft studio. Many of you might remember Aleene’s Creative Living. It was one of the first TV craft shows and involved Aleene and her daughters Tiffany and Heidi. Many of the guest crafters who appeared on the show continue to be leaders in the craft industry today and that includes Tiffany.
Tiffany brought Cool2Cast to the market to replace Faster Plaster after it was taken off the market. Cool2Cast was given a big introduction at the Winter 2012 CHA. Having never worked with a plaster product like this I needed someone to show me what COULD be made with it. Unfortunately, in mid February when I first received the product a Google search ended with no practical hits. Thankfully, in early March the Crafty Chica posted a video tutorial of some rings she made with Cool2Cast and embedded stones. Ok, now I had some idea of where to go. I had some molds for making resin jewelry. I decided to make simple charms from plain Cool2Cast and then color and embellish after the charm had cured.
The directions on the product are to mix 2:1 Cool2Cast to water until the slurry has the constancy of pancake batter. I did it backwards adding 1/4 cup Cool2Cast to 1/2 cup water and ended up with hot chocolate. Realizing what I had done I realized I had to add 3/4 cup of powder to keep the ration correct. That made a big batch of Cool2Cast. Too big.
The easiest method for mixing the slurry is to use a Ziplock bag. Add the powder and water into a sandwich-sized Ziplock bag, remove the extra air, close the Ziplock and shake for about 1 minute. This technique makes it easy to fill the small molds by simply snipping a tiny piece off one of the corners and using it as a pastry bag to direct the slurry wherever you need it. I will admit that big batch made it harder to control the baggie and I was sloppy and overfilled the molds. In hindsight this was a big mistake and next time I will be very careful to NOT overfill the molds. Thankfully, a little sand paper fixed the problem on most of the pieces. On the other hand, under filling molds leave the charm wonky and unusable as well. Filling the molds exactly is the way to go. Once the molds are filled it is important to tap the edges of the mold to release the air bubbles. Let the pieces dry for an hour before unmolding. Once they are unmolded they need to dry several hours or overnight.
Once my pieces were ready for decorating, I started with color. I used a Distress inks, Distress Stains, and paint as my base colorants. I can say unequvically that Cool2Cast takes color beautifully. In fact I was super impressed at how well it took the color. Tiffany used alcohol inks in a recent tutorial and the results are specular. She simply dripped the ink directly onto the piece, allowing the different colors to drip into each other and giving the pieces an almost gemstone appearance.
Here are my Cool2Cast pieces…
The first piece I made is colored with Worn Lipstick Distress Stain over the entire base. I stamped the honeycomb using black Archival ink and a stamp from Rhonna Farrer’s My Minds Eye collection Follow Your Heart. I stamped the bees (same collection) with Distress Embossing Powder and sprinkled with Cricket Zing Embossing powder and heat embossed the piece. I cut out the word “honey?” and glue it in place with Glossy Accents before I covered the entire piece with a layer of Chandelier Glimmer Glam for shine and sparkle. Finally I added a pin back with E6000 glue. This second piece is a pretty little silver heart. I began by painting it with 2 coats of Silver Paint Dabber. After the paint dried, I used rub-ons (heart and swirls) to add details. Finally, I added flat-back pearls and a single red rhinestone glued on with Glossy Accents and glued a pin back on the back with E6000. This third piece is interesting. Excuse the bad photo but I wanted to show the texture. I painted it with Silver Paint Dabber like the heart but then I added Distress Embossing Ink and Old Paper Distress Embossing Powder . The interesting thing about Distress Embossing Powder is that after you heat set it you rub off the releasing crystals leaving a textured, interesting patina. This piece looks exactly like a rock- oddly shaped but a rock none the less. I have no idea what to do with it but I love looking at it. My fourth experiment with Cool2Cast I “colored ” with tissue paper. I used Mod Podge to decoupage the green gingham tissue paper on to the charm. I added a rub-on butterfly, a cluster of pearls and the Idea-oogy ChitChat word “create”. I glued a pin back to the back of this piece as well. My 5th and final experiment ended up with this crazy heart embellishment. I again used Worn Lipstick Distress Stain and added Worn Lipstick Distress Ink because I can’t get enough of the beautiful patina that Distress creates on Cool2Cast. I covered the pink patina with silver glass glitter. After the glue dried I rubbed off some of the glitter to leave a distressed finish. Finally, I added silver tinsel ribbon to the back to frame the heart. I imagine this used as an embellishment on a mixed media piece or maybe a crazy card… I don’t know yet.
Tiffany has a terrific video here showing how to embed objects into Cool2Cast molded pieces. You can Google other projects- it seems new ones are going up every day now. You can purchase a 1 lb box of Cool2Cast here for $7.95.
What have you made with a plaster product?