Feb 132021
 

As if I hadn’t taken this silicone LED thing to absurd enough extents… here’s more.

I came across a product called ‘Encapso K’ that I thought might be fun to test as an alternative to the acetoxy silicone I’d been using. I’ve found the super thick balsa ones never stop curing so they get bubbly and weird after six months or so. Plus I was just getting tired of the extreme goopiness of the caulking process. So I ordered a little kit of this new stuff. It’s two-part platinum cure that solidifies water-clear but is extremely brittle so it’s billed as ‘rubber-glass’ for glass and ice sfx uses. It lives up to the name too. It is clear as glass but cracks and crumbles kind of like a rubery stone. Crazy stuff.

Unfortunately I learned it will not cure inside of the vinyl tubes I use for the tube lights. I’m guessing it’s something about the chlorine in PVC being an asshole but I’m not a chemist. I could try acrylic tubes, but meh. And the liquid is too thin to make the balsa dioramas without precuring some little pieces to hold the planes in place like they use in resin casting and then it’s just resin casting with really brittle, rubbery resin. So I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the stuff for a while. The fact that it wouldn’t cure in the vinyl tubes was kind of a deal breaker for most ideas. And the brittleness wasn’t helpful.

Recently I thought it might be cool to encase the new brittle silicone in the old flexible silicone and then smash it and see what happened. And I did that. And this is what happened.

Pretty predictaby- it looks like fractured brittle silicone encased in a more flexible silicone, kind of like an ice cube.

So yay- I made a kind of an ice cube looking thing out of a couple of different mixtures of silicone. It looks really cool with an LED behind it I think. Maybe I’ll make a light out of it.

I did make a light with the same general idea using crushed glass in an upside down glass a while back. But I wasn’t a big fan of working with crushed glass. I used safety glass so it was little cubey grains but it still wasn’t great. And this way it looks like big chunks of broken glass but without dealing with big chunks of broken glass. So I ended up really thinking outside the box here by using this new silicone stuff to do exactly what it’s sold to do.

But the really surprising part of all this was finding out how fun it is to crack the interior silicone once it’s all cured up. Kind of hard to get the first crack in but once you do it feels like popping creme brulee bubble-wrap. Seriously- if you’re a compulsive folder or squisher or roller of whatever materials are around you- this is cosmic apotheosis. It’s kind of a one-time stress-ball, but it’s one hell of a time. The hardest part is stopping so you end up with a cool looking ice brick thing instead of a glazed snowball. I think I made the video mainly to show the cracking part. I always dig the LED stuff but wow- crushing up these weirdly squishy but crackly silicone bricks… glad I didn’t learn about this in my teens or I’d never have left the house.

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