Fingerprint molds

Hello all,

I have a customer who wants me to make a fingerprint bracelet, from
her kindergarten class. I will be making 30 individual molds of the
childrens fingerprints. I have tried a compound from the dental
field, stuff they use for impressions in the mouth. It makes great
impressions in about 2 minutes. The trouble I am having is pulling
the impression with wax so that I can cast them in sterling silver.
Injection wax seems to harden too fast. Does anyone have a
suggestion, maybe a different type of wax?

Thank you, Kirsten Reynolds

Contact John Adair, jp.adair at gmail dot com he is very good at
fingerprints, has a lovely and a great guy.

Warm Regards, Dee
Dee Rouse Huth

Hi Kirsten

There is no problem if you use Art Clay. See where
everything is available. You are correct in using the dental
impression material but do not need to use wax. Then you puddle the
Art Clay into the mould. A well established technique that many
people use. Art clay is 99.9% pure silver and is processed in a kiln
or torch at a maximum 760*C. More details if you require them.

Regards. Peter

Why don’t you try pressing silver clay into the mold?


Hi Kirsten

Why don’t you try PMC? It will be very easy to use the molds that you
have made and will probably even be less labour intensive! Good luck
with it - it sounds like a lovely project!



What an interesting project. I do not know if this will get the
detail you need but have you tried molding clay or if they still
make it possibly silly putty to get the finger print.

Greg DeMark

Heat the mold by putting it on the top of the wax injector. Then use
the injection wax. Warm mold is the key. Let me know how you do with

Hello Kirsten,

Have you considered using a metal clay for the impressions. I
haven’t tried it (intentionally), but did have to burnish out a
fingerprint from a piece. Perhaps one of the Orchidians who commonly
use the media would care to respond.

Judy in Kansas, who is sad about missing Tucson, but knows that
keeping the foot elevated is more important this year. (BTW, the
bunionectomy was 2 weeks ago)

I have a customer who wants me to make a fingerprint bracelet, from
her kindergarten class. I will be making 30 individual molds of the
childrens fingerprints. 

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.

I think your problem is twofold, the melting point of the impression
compound and its rigidity both prevent the release of the casting
wax. Normally for molds taken from the skin one uses agar or natural
latex to make the mold and then back this with something stronger.
See a sculpture supplier for materials. You could try using
plasticine or modelling clay for the imprint ans very on getting a
good wax first time.


Hey kirsten,

In past in learning about clay. We used a product called microsil.
Its a two part molding material use for making molds of peoples ears
for hearing aids. You just mix the two “clay like” parts together or
or equal parts, with your hands. Make an impression with whatever or
mold it around whatever. I sets into a flexible mold in about ten
minutes, and will achieve some pretty fine detail. I believe Rio is
now carrying a similar product in their metal clay section now.

Good Luck,

have you tried just directly pressing the fingers simply into warm
wax? then cast that


I have done this very thing with PMC. First it was a new born hand
which was great. The fingers and wrinkle detail was pretty good - no
finger print…course on a newborn it is pretty faint. Might have
been PMC3 so there wasn’t too much shrinkage. The mold material was
the Belicold from Rio which makes a great reusable impression,

The next was my granddaughter’s thumb print. Those little fingers -
she was about 10 - just didn’t have enough form to imprint deeply,
but we still had a print.

Pretty neat.

OH, on the PMC Subject: I am now scheduled to teach PMC Intermediate
at Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM from July 20 to July 27, 2009. Y’all

Rose Marie Christison
Denver, CO

Ask John Adair to send you photos of his fingerprints, you will be
amazed, PMC will capture some, but the detail in John’s work is quite
amazing and no, he does not work for me. Nor does he give workshops,

This is an application that would be perfect for Metal Clay. You
might want to consider switching media instead of casting this. You
can have the children put their fingerprints directly into the media
and fire it after you’ve shaped it.

BTW - I hope that the teacher has received permission slips from
each parent to have a permanent impression of their child’s

Sandra Graves, Isis Rising

Dear Mr. Willoughby & All,

This is Michael Knight at Castaldo.

We make a two-part RTV silicone rubber putty called QuickSil that
you mix by hand, make an impression into with a finger or anything
else, and let cure for 15 minutes. The result is a permanent,
flexible rubber mold suitable for pouring wax into 1000’s of times.
Or you can mold PMC or ART clay into it, too.

You can read more about it at:

While it was designed for making standard rubber jewlery molds, I’ve
seen people copy picture frame moldings, stone carvings,cast iron
fence railing designs — anything – even tire tracks in hot

I’d be happy to send you (or anyone else out there interested in
trying it) a small free sample to experiment with.

If you’re interested, please give me your complete shipping address
– no P.O. boxes, sorry – and your phone number. I won’t call you,
but UPS sometimes demands that info.

Michael Knight

We use a material called Jeltrate. It is a dental material, probably
the same as yours. I think the material sold for reducing models
called Reducit is the same thing. It will also work for making
molds. The wax we use is a blue dental wax called inlay wax, which
you can get from dental supply houses or jewelry supply. Otto Frey
has Kerr inlay wax listed in their catalog. We have several boxes
that we bought some time ago from Romanoff, called Corning inlay wax.
It flows easily at about 160 degrees. Just melt it in a small metal
cup and pour into the cavity. There will be spots where the air is
trapped, so you can use a soft cheap artists brush to brush the mold
surface under the wax. the brush should be warmed in the wax before
you pour. Then when the wax has chilled to the thickness you want,
pour off the rest. It releases well and gives good detail. The mold
will dry up and shrink if unprotected. Thats how Reducit works. If
you want to keep the mold for reuse, wrap it in a damp paper towel
and put it in a plastic bag. We have made molds of many different
body parts with this method.


Dear Dave,

We use a material called Jeltrate. It is a dental material,
probably the same as yours. 

Ours is quite different - it makes a permanent mold that does not
shrink or dry to degrade. You’ll see. I’ll send you a sample if
you’ll give me your shipping details.


I have a customer who wants me to make a fingerprint bracelet, from
her kindergarten class. I will be making 30 individual molds of the
childrens fingerprints. 

We’ve done “class projects” like this a few times - the kids used
regular pink sheet wax. They each got a little piece and made
charms, but there were discernible fingerprints all over them. It
would be a simple thing to do just a fingerprint. Warm it up a little
in warm water so it will take a good impression. You’ll have to be
careful putting the sprues on. We enjoyed the process. One of the
classes gave us a flowerpot decorated with fingerprints and filled
with gerber daisies. It was very sweet.

Dana Carlson

hi there i always look forward to your messages. and hold onto them.

i had a long while ago gotten some sample Liquacast and some of the
Quick silI used the Liquacast yesterday and it still has not cured, I
poured it onto brown soft sculpture wax which was holding a piece of
slate. I measured on the scale 1 to 10. from sample bottles. as to
exacting as I could all in plastic containers and mixed with metal
spatulas, the sample bottles them selves were never opened. but i did
have them sitting on the shelf for over 2 years… the shelf life
unopened is 6 months it said… is that absolute ?I have had days in
summer where the temp of studio has gone beyond 88F and humid in
Philadelphia. and is that the same for the Quick sil ? I am ready to
try out and see if it will work for me, but if the result may be the
same as the liquacast then I dont want to waste my time, but to get a
new batch. i am not making the conventional jewelry mold, but trying
to take impressions off of different materials like slate and or
organic material. Any advice and help I will appreciate immensely

thank you