Thursday, 24 October 2013

Thermomorph - something completely different

Good afternoon ladies.  I wanted to get this post written on Tuesday when I had my day off, but I just ran out of time so I'm running a bit late.  I've got something different for you today - ThermoMorph by polymorph.

I was sent this product free of charge by polymorph in exchange for a review, however all views are my own and I was not compensated (apart from the free product).

So what is it?  It's a tub of little white granules of plastic.  The idea is that you heat them up and you can mould them.  When they cool down, they're rock hard, but they're completely reusable so if you don't like what you've made, you can heat them up again and start again.

You can find more information about the product on Thermomorph's website

I got a big pan out of the cupboard and some tongs.  I filled the pan with boiling water and waited for it to cool down to around 60 degrees (C).

Here are the granules in the pan.  They look a bit like rice.  When they start to melt, they turn clear.  The instructions said to take the newly-formed clump out of the pan when they get to that stage and leave it to cool.  So I did as I was told.  I found that within minutes it was setting, so back in the pan it went.

I started by moulding a little bunny.  And this is where I first hit a snag.  If I allowed the thermomorph to cool at all, it started to set and I couldn't do anything with it.  I found the only way to work with it was to leave it in the pan, take out a bit and form it, drop that bit back in the pan and try to keep it away from the main clump, pull another bit off, mould etc etc.  Not the easiest way to work, and a bit painful as it was very hot.  I also found the bunny starting to melt when I was trying to fix him together.  The ears were a lot thinner than that to start with.

I left him to set.  His head fell off.

Time to try something new.  I flattened a piece of Thermomorph and stamped into it.  That worked really well.  It's kind of hard to see in the picture below as the set product is quite glossy, but the stamps imprinted perfectly.  The only problem I had was that I couldn't cut them out, I didn't have time before it started to set to stamp it and then cut round it.

Whilst I was playing, I also made some plain lumps to try some finishing techniques on later.

I cut this one with scissors as it was turning to the set stage.  It was fairly easy to cut, but hard to make it neat.

A few days later it was time to try the finishing techniques.  The tub suggested you could carve it.  I tried with a craft knife, a scraper board tool and a lino cutter.  I couldn't not carve it.  No photos of that as it would be a picture of something that has not been done!  I did manage to stamp it.

One major snag.  I used dye-based ink as I knew pigment ink wouldn't work.  It stamped OK, but even the next day it still wiped off.

3d paint?  Yep, that worked... not sure what I'd do with it though in light of the moulding/carving problems.  OK, last technique...

Acrylic paints.  Yep, they worked a treat.  So, what conclusions have I come to?  I found it very hard to work with and so difficult to know what to do with.  I think I have found a use for it though as when it is set it has a lovely glossy sheen to it and the acrylic paints look lovely.  I'd have to mould very simple shapes, possibly stamp them, and then paint them.  

I don't think it's suitable for children as it was actually very hot when I was moulding it.  The instructions do say to leave it to cool, but when cool it set... bit of a catch 22.

Perhaps I'm missing something?  Do you have any thoughts of what I could have tried with it?

Anyway, if you want to give it a go yourself, here are the details:

Product Name: Thermomorph
Price: £19.95
Size: 500 grams
Material: Polymorph granules

You can buy it here.


JennyPennyPoppy said...

Thanks for your post and pictures and for sharing all the trouble you had with this stuff. Too bad the bunny didn't turn out.

JoJo said...

It's a great idea in theory but for the price it doesn't sound like something that really can work unless you can bear to keep your hands in the hot water and prepare the craft that way.

Celtic Thistle said...

Another blogger used this to make ornamental buttons and seemed to be pleased with it. They used nail varnish to colour it!

Marilyn said...

That is another interesting product, sounds a bit difficult to achieve a good outcome. Thanks for the info.

margaret said...

interesting product but not for me good to see what you achieved with it

Jane Galley said...

I'm glad they gave you a pot to try, it's expensive to buy and find it doesn't work

Samantha said...

Ha! Bet they're glad they asked you to review it and not someone who would have complimented it no matter what you thought ;)