Usually I use one of the three materials below to make my molds. No matter which type of product you use make sure you have the object you want to copy clean and ready to be used when you make your molds. Be patient. There are varying wait times for the mold to be ready to accept resin into it.
Molding Material type: Oyumaru.
This is a plastic clay type of material. It is resin ready as soon as it cools. Cooling time can be quicken by placing it in the freezer for a minute. It is reusable and all that is need for prep is hot water and paper towels for excess water seepage. I purchase mine on Etsy.com or Ebay.com. Although I have found prices more reasonable on Etsy.com. Gloves are completely optional, it does pick up detail very well with minimal effort. This is preferred method for first time casting. There is no extra wait time needed for it to be used beyond the three to five minutes for it to cool. All my casting have come out clear with no hazing or matte finishes.
Molding Material: Easy Mold Silicone Putty
Molding Material: Amazing Mold Rubber
Now on to the actual tutorial...This is for a flat surfaced shuttle, not textured like my small hearts shuttle.We will be working in reverse. The top of the finished product will be on the bottom of the mold. Keep this in mind when using something like a broken shuttle with the post still attached, to copy. Through my many experiments, I've learned it's easier to make the blade flat and shape it before it is fully cured. This also makes it easier to embed items into the resin. It also helps to reduce time spent sanding and finishing the final product. Always keep in mind the thickness of the final blades when making your mold. If it is too thick, your hands will tire more easily when tatting for long periods of time. It may also be more difficult to hold the shuttle in your hands.
Starting with no item to create the shuttle with.
I recommend using either the Oyumaru or the EasyMold Putty for this. First you have to make a template. I used a piece of cardboard and cut out the basic shuttle shape.
Making a copy of an existing shuttle blade.
For this portion I highly recommend using a shuttle that has already come apart. You can use the outside of it but you must be aware of the pressure needed to get your mold made. The blade is already concave or shaped so you will not get a flat surface. This will make casting a bit more difficult. You will end up having to sand off a bit of resin after it has cured to make it even. This is unavoidable. I also do not recommend turning the shuttle on it's side and making a mold of it in this manner. It is possible to do this with The Amazing Mold Rubber, but not recommended. IF you plan on embedding items into the resin, it will be very difficult to keep the items from moving while the resin is curing. Also you can only go halfway up the shuttle. The final piece will have a seam going down the center that will take some work and another coating of resin to get rid of. With items embedded you must keep an careful eye on your piece frequently to correct drifting of items. There will also be problems with the blade tension. Once the piece is cast, you can't really adjust the tension since the first half of the shuttle has to be on the second while in its gummy stage to bond.
Assuming your shuttle is broken with the post still attached to one of the blades we are going to make a mold. This time instead of working in reverse, we are going to press the blade with post facing down into the molding compound. Make sure this molding compound part is rather thick before you begin. Starting in the center where the post is located, gently press down into the compound. Keep in mind to not push too quickly or deeply. You want to have a bit of a thick base still when you are done. If you push too deeply the post will protrude out the bottom or the layer will be too thin to withstand the resin and will leak out. Again, gently push from the center to the outside of the blade to create the lip to keep the resin inside the mold. Shape it up if needed to create the lip. You might have to shape the lip by gently pushing up from the sides. Be mindful to not have the molding compound cover over the top of the shuttle. You want to be able to easily pop the shuttle blade out of the mold.
You will want to have the top of the shuttle secured to the "mold box" bottom. The post should be facing you on top. Make sure you tape the pieces or glue them down. They will move because the molding compound begins as a liquid before solidifying. Make certain that you leave enough space between the two blades to create a divider. The blades should not be touching any part of the mold box except the bottom where they are secured to. After mixing the rubber, slowly pour it onto the pieces. In my mold there is a bit of a gap between the blades and the bottom of the molding box.
There you have it, you've made a shuttle mold!