Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chalkware from Vintage Chocolate Molds

vintage chocolate molds

My interest in chocolate molds and chalkware started several years ago when my girlfriend gave me an old mold for Christmas.  After receiving my first mold I became fascinated with using it to make chalkware.
From there my collection grew and I snapped up all molds that I could find. (within my budget, I might add)  I mostly acquired Santas, but then that expanded to Easter and Halloween.

The process of making chalkware is very simple. I use plaster of paris.  Some people use different mediums and even use dental plaster.
I decided that I would use plain old plaster, kind of in keeping with how they were made years ago.
I lightly coat the inside of the mold with cooking spray,(I use Pam) Once the inside is coated I put the mold together and use masking tape to seal the edges, then I use the mold clamps for a nice tight fit and less leakage of the plaster.

The plaster is then mixed and poured into the mold, as I pour, I try to tap out any air bubbles. The filled mold is then set aside until the plaster cures anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. When it is ready to be removed I take off all the clamps and tape then gently separate the 2 sides. I trim the bottom immediately while the plaster is still a little soft. Sometimes I trim the seams and smooth out the rough edges at the same time.
Once this is all done I set them aside to let them dry completely. (at least 24 hours, maybe longer depending on the size)

Finally when they are all dry I begin to paint them. For some reason I start with the faces. I think I just like having the faces done so their personality comes out at the beginning. I use old postcards and old images for some of my ideas on decorating my Santas. I love the old fashioned Santas partly for all the different colors, not just the usual red coats. To finish, I coat my chalkware with a matte finish.
Sometimes they are holding a little pine sprig or feather tree, some of them get a sprinkling of mica or glitter.  You can decorate however you would like, as little or as much as strikes your fancy.

The following sites are a couple of my favorites and have molds and painted chalkware;

finished chalkware
( jj )


Sheree said...

How awesome is that! Your finished chalkware pieces look so vintage. You did a great job painting them.

goodgosh said...

Wow! I didn't know how you did those so that was very insightful. :)
Are all those finished pieces yours? What happens if they get wet, anything?
Interesting to see the molds too. Cool.

VintageEmbellishment said...

Great collection of molds and what a super way to use them :)

Ummm, do you have any nativity molds???

Your chalkware pieces would be a great collection....just sayin!

SarahBeth said...

How very clever! Just like pouring ceramics but the molds are prettier!! Lovin' your finished pieces too!

Peppercorns said...

WOW! These are just so wonderful! I've seen these molds and never thought to use plaster of paris...duh.

I love the finished product jj. Your work is always so beautiful.

A Collective Journal said...

Thanks everyone!
You don't want to get them wet GG, only clean with a dry cloth.
I partially started painting my own because I couldn't afford to buy the real old
But I really enjoy making them.
Pepper, you can use papermache too, you just get more air bubbles sometimes.

Doodle said...

Very cool piece JJ. And yes, they have a nice vintage look to them. I vote for more! Thanks for sharing your process with us.

Happy Hound Creative said...

I've always wondered how you do that!! I love the bunny's that are in your shop too!

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