Once the head was out of the mould, I painted in the features and started to add the hair.

Painted head

The hands have been cast with a twisted wire armature inside them, they’re just out of the mould here and haven’t been trimmed yet. The real Doris wore nail varnish so I’ll paint that on.

Hands with flashing

Finished head minus glasses

I’m not sure what exactly what she wore on her feet, it may have been some sort of leatherette type slipper but I’ve chosen to make ones with a furry bit at the front. They’ve been cast in silicone and painted before the fur was added and trimmed.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to get the body shape just right and trying to recreate her stance. She has an aluminium wire armature at the moment but I’m going to have to replace it with a ball and socket one at some point. For the moment though, I’ll use this one to do some test animations with.

Twisted wire armatures

Luckily my local fabric shop had some ideal fabric to recreate her brown ‘slacks’, and I’ve given her a little sleeveless top to go with it as well as a dowdy grey blouse.


nearing completion

She’s nearing completion in the above photograph.

And finally, with glasses attached and a little walking stick to help her waddle along, she’s finished.

Doris with walking stick

A face that could curdle milk.

There’s some more pic’s of Doris in different poses in the ‘Pages’ section: Doris Slideshow


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