The next stage in making the model head is to cast it in silicone.

I tinted some silicone with flesh coloured pigment and cast it. When cured I filled the cavity with urethane foam to support the outer skin.

The cast face removed from mould

Slicing out the opening for insertion of glass eyes

The hollow glass eyes are so fragile, I like the way they are packaged – nestling snugly in foam rubber inside a clear box.

The next stage : applying paint.

I used pigments added to psycho paint to add the more subtle touches, freckles lip colour, and the pink bits in the corner of the eyes etc.

applying freckles and pink lipcolour

Now that the painting is completed the final stage will be to root the hair, eyelashes and eyebrows.

The finished result



clay wall with registration indents

After re-stocking with silicone I was able to move on to the next part of the process:

I built a clay wall on the finished sculpture where the separation line would be – this had indents to provide registration points. As this is a test piece I didn’t worry too much about the neck and shoulder area and kept it simple by doing a 2 part mould with the most obvious separation line.

I left the sculpture uncovered for a few hours to lower the surface moisture level and then painted the whole thing with button polish.

The next stage was to cover it in a thin layer of silicone with added thixotropic agent to capture the surface detail. Once that had cured I removed the clay wall and trimmed off any excess silicone.

untrimmed silicone coating

I applied some general purpose resin and fibreglass matting on top of that to provide a rigid shell, then repeated the whole process on the other half of the mould.

The edges of the mould were trimmed off before the resin had completely hardened to provide a neat edge. Finally I gave it a quick hand sand to remove any stray matting fibres (that can embed themselves in your fingers) and drilled holes in the flange for the hex bolts to go through.

The view of the inside of the mould looks like this.

interior of mould

Next stage (in a wee while) : Casting

Old Lady Fight!

March 7, 2011

Old ladies let loose in the Scout Jumble…

"I think I saw it first, dear!" "I don't think you did, dear!"

I made a very makeshift scene for the two old ladies, but eventually I’d like to make a Community Hall or Scout Hall set, for this little scenario to be played out in. It would be one of six or so little animated sketches that would feature these two characters.


While they were waiting to be photographed, I could hear snatches of their conversation…

"I heard she ran off with a sailor..."


The old bats, Edith and Ada

"Is that a fact!"

More pic’s in Portfolio: Page 9


copyright 2011

Luckily, I found a very small amount of silicone lurking at the back of a cupboard and it was just enough to get the heads, hands and feet the two old ladies done.

The picture on the right has been fully painted and the hat I made is inspired by the kind of pressed felt ones that are occasionally sported by elderly ladies. The hair for this head will be curly – either a tight perm or just very wavy. She hasn’t got her glasses yet, but that’s the mould for them just to the left of her head.

Plump lady has been painted but doesn’t have eyeballs yet and I’ve started to punch in the hair – I like this wild, insane look but the finished style will feature a bun on top of her head.

Below are pictures of the shoes and hands being embedded in clay, and enclosed in a wall ready for making the plaster mould.

Once they were cast, the flashing was trimmed off and the shoes were painted. I embedded a block of chavant clay inside the boots so that once it was removed it would leave a cavity big enough to accommodate the foot section of the armature. Because they were so tiny, I used very thin wire inside the hands to allow the fingers to bend. They’ll be attached to the arms with a small section of K&S brass tubing – the smaller piece on the armature sliding inside the section in silicone wrist. The picture below shows the fingers bent (I’ve removed the K&S in the wrists temporarily).

The shoes may have to be matted to take off some of the glossy sheen that you invariably get when painting with silicone. For the hand bags, I chose to make one from vinyl and one from card, the card one isn’t quite finished yet.

Finally, the last picture shows the assembled body of one character complete with knobbly fingers, thick stockings but minus a head. Plump lady’s being worked on at the moment and doesn’t want to be photographed ’till she’s looking her best.

Headless old lady

Final assembly in Next post.

Stop-motion Models (part 1.)

February 21, 2011

While materials are on order to make the mould for my head sculpture, I thought I’d do something on another project I’m working on at the same time. I’m making two old lady characters – a thin one and a very plump one, and I’m about half way through the process. Pictured below are the two clay sculpts for the heads.

Once I’d sculpted the faces, hands and shoes in clay, I made the moulds for them (haven’t cast them yet as I need to order silicone for this too).

Tiny old lady footwear, 34mm long

Spec's. 15 mm at widest point

For speed, I’m re-using armatures from a different project. They’re the kit kind that don’t need silver soldering.

threaded rod armature

The tiny patterns for the clothes were drawn out on kitchen paper and then a quick toile in plain fabric was made to see if any adjustments were needed.

I chose tweedy looking fabric that I thought would be good on a small scale and spent happy evenings in front of the telly, sewing them all together by hand (they were too small machine).

jacket for plump character and paper patterns

suitably tweedy looking material and jacket

Fur trimmed coat, front and back views.

clay head on rough assembly of body

That’s the progress so far. Once all the different bit’s are cast and painted and the hair added, I’ll make the hat, handbag and other accessories – more in Part 2

Ruan Sculpture

January 29, 2011

I started a clay sculpture of Ruan a few weeks ago and worked on it in between jobs and this is how it progressed.

I’d like to do a series of posts on all the different processes involved starting with this first one – the clay modelling stage and ending with the finished model. The subsequent posts will feature all the different stages including mould making, casting in silicone, painting of the model and hair rooting process. Depending on the results I might carry on and  make a whole figure.

(Further pic’s in Sculpture Portfolio, PAGE 6)

Initial stages:

earlier stages of sculpt

working on capturing a likeness

after this stage it took ages to put in the more subtle modeling of the features.

untextured stage

finished head, untextured

view 2

ear detail

eventually, when I thought I could take if as far as could, I started putting in some surface texture (also put in plastic eye blanks the same size as the glass ones will be).

surface texture views

close-up, finished head

The next post will feature details of the mould making stage!

( Ruan, I hope you recognise yourself!)

Scottie Brooches

November 27, 2010

As an experiment, I thought I’d take a cast of my favourite celluloid brooch. It was made in occupied Japan (around the late 1940’s).

I’ve also made card labels with a scottie graphic because I can’t resist doing a wee bit of packaging!

When they come out of the mould they have to be trimmed, and the wax mould release removed before painting. A brooch pin is glued on to the back and the final stage is sealing them up in cellophane bags and stapling on the card header.

They’re all slightly different, even though I’m not particularly trying to make them that way, but when I find a combination of base colour and paint that looks good I’ll probably try to stick to that for the sake of consistency.

Here’s the finished result.

White Scottie brooch

White versions

Assorted Brooch Samples

Some steps in the process:

curing in moulds

Removed from mould, still with flashing

Test Pieces

Packaging design and Sample

Might consider full-time production!