You're welcome. I'm pretty burnt out on the plastic torma factory, but I understand the appeal
Well, PM me if you want me to drum up the name of the plastic company. The plastic is made from two liquids you mix together. It's expensive. Once you open the bottle, you can only make plastic from that batch for 6 months max... the stuff degenerates. Don't make our mistake and try to save money on the mold making material--get expensive latex mold materials... unless you really never want to use that mold for making multiple tormas. The cheaper ones tear. There is a mother mold, then a mold... you probably know this from jewelry making.
Things do really need to go into a compression chamber, or the plastic will have bubbles. Complex molds sometimes leak and need to be re-made. It is sometimes hard to get the plastic into sharp points and piping. Depends on the torma shape.
Pouring the plastic is a skill, you only have a short time to pour before it solidifies.
You sound like you have the patience, skill set, and a workshop.
The lamas want go-trams
, the chevron that goes on top of tormas instead of the sun-moon-array. They are even more complicated--truly pieces for jewelers to make. They think it looks really cool.
The main advantage over sculpey is that the tormas don't break, and are replicable.
Personally, I may experiment with making the main body of my next big torma out of salt dough, then coat it with an epoxy based substance -- like they use in doll-making -- to make it unbreakable and even smoother. Not sure about the piping.
Thanks for the very good, detailed description of making the plastic tormas. I was a jeweler in my 20s and early 30s and I still have all my tools. So I probably will give this a go. Before reading this, I probably would've stopped at Sculpey and called it good.
Thanks also for the discussion of seven as opposed to eight offering bowls. I'm gonna start asking Lamas about this and see what answers I get. Should be interesting. Your supposition about Khampa style as opposed to Mindoling is a good one.
Keep up the great work!
Thug-dam gom phel.