I live a ten minute drive from the Rocklea Flower Markets, and over the past months I've been treating myself every couple of weeks. I've bought freesias and banksias, Geraldton wax and proteas, and I've also found myself drawn to the greenery. A few times I've come home with a bucketful of waxy-leaved gum branches.
These macrocarpa gum flower buds were very enthusiastically received by Ollie, and after watching him chew speculatively on the dangling pod-like buds, I too was prompted to take action. Pinkysil action. It had been a while!
I shoved a thick wire into the trimmed end of each bud.
I then moulded a piece of plasticene around the wire so that when the silicone mix was poured, I would be left with a hole through which to pour the plaster when casting. This mould (and the others I've made like this) has been made upside-down.
I used a piece of PVC pipe (like the wired buds, it's pushed down into a base slab of plasticene) to contain the Pinkysil.
The Pinkysil doesn't take too long to cure - an hour later I was ready to try an initial plaster cast. The PVC pipe was removed (the very devil of a job!) and the original green buds taken out by making one clean cut with a very sharp scalpel down into the side of the mould. This mould is thick enough to be self-supporting when filled with wet plaster, and as long as I've taken care to close up the cuts accurately (the silicone tends to stick to itself a little) it doesn't leak.
Hey presto! You can see the cone-like shape at the top of the bud - that's where I moulded the plasticene around the wire. That part gets trimmed off, and I'm left with a complete plaster replica of the original bud.
It's now some days later, and the pods are fully dried out. I've been drilling, glueing, assembling and photographing a-plenty.