Curse creates content and products specifically for gamers and offers that content through websites, video, and desktop apps. They recently decided to award employees who have been with them for at least five years and wanted the award to make a statement. They commissioned Harrison Krix of Volpin Props to turn their dragon logo into a 3D award. The gorgeous final awards are pictured above, but they started life as unattractive blocks of urethane tooling foam.
Krix started with a redesign of the logo done by his friend Tom (certain pieces had to be altered to make casting easier) and then carved the basic shape of the dragon with a ryoba from the foam. As the dragon took shape, Krix used smaller tools and sandpaper to refine it and he also added Smooth-On EpoxAcoat Red to give the foam a dense covering. Several more steps led to the dragon sculpt being done, covered with a clear coat, and ready for molding. He pressure cast the finished castings so the final product would be completely clear. He explains:
Pressure casting involves taking a mold and placing it into a large sealed chamber specifically meant to be pressurized. After resin is poured into the mold cavity, the chamber is sealed and pressurized to around 55-60psi. Since gasses can be compressed but liquids cannot, pressurizing liquid resin causes all voids, bubbles and air pockets to collapse and leaves the casting free of any trapped air.
This means that the silicone mold itself must also be free of any trapped air, since small bubbles in the mold will be affected by pressure and will deform the mold surface. The short version of this is that the dragon would have to be matrix molded.
In matrix molding, the mold jacket is made first then the master sculpt is placed into this shell and the void between the sculpt and jacket is filled with silicone. This allows the mold material to be vacuum degassed, removing any air pockets and leaving only the liquid rubber material.
Read more about the design and build of this award at Volpin Props.