Mold for Latex Mask

IMG_0988Zhiwan has sculpted the head of Mao out of water based clay. It is built up on a 2″x4″ wrapped that is wrapped in armature wire and screwed to the base board. He let it dry to a “leather hard” consistency so that the mold does not damage the clay head as it is being made. Below is a step by step process of making a two piece plaster mold from a clay positive that will be used for a brush on latex mask. The mask will be similar to a Halloween mask, and will be used as a prop for a video. First we built a temporary wall of clay over the head where we want the parting line. Then we coated the clay with a spray release agent, after which we paint on a slurry layer of Hydrocal/Plaster. Then we built up the plaster by painting it on the base coat as it was drying. After which, we added a layer of burlap and plaster, and then a final coat of plaster to finish the side. After the first side is done, we removed the temporary clay wall and coated the plaster parting line with Vaseline so the next side would not stick to the first. The process is repeated for the second side and then after some dry time, it is demolded and cleaned. Ready for latex application.


Now we are ready to paint in the latex. He painted in three coats when the mold was open on each side. Then closed the mold, wrapped it with an old bicycle tube as a rubber band, and then poured a slush layer of latex to bind it together. After it was dry he demanded and then cut the flashing of latex away from the casting. It was then complete! Success!



Field Trip: The Savini School of Special Make-up Effects 9.11.13


This past Wednesday we traveled to Monessen, PA to the Tom Savini School for prosthetic make-up and effects. The school is a dynamic place run by effects master Jerry Gergely. The 16 month program covers Make-up Application, Mold Making and Casting, Animation Fabrication, and Exhibit and Display Design. Jerry gave us an in depth tour of the school and showed us what it takes to create these amazing creatures we see in the movies. It was a very informative trip, and we thank Jerry for his time and expert advice. Check them out at IMG_2902 IMG_2901 IMG_2899 IMG_2898 IMG_2896 IMG_2893IMG_2890 IMG_2889 IMG_2886 2013-09-11-elavator-06IMG_2885 IMG_2884

Life Casting Demo 9.9.13

In class we took an alginate mold of Zhiwan’s face. Alginate is made from a powdered brown algae that absorbs water (up to 300 percent in volume). When mixed with water it forms a gelatinous goo that is used to spread on the positive, in our case Zhiwan’s face. It usually sets up to a solid in around 2 minutes. We then made a mother mold by spreading plaster over the alginate to create a hard vessel to hold the floppy alginate mold. This process took about 10 minutes before Zhiwan could sit up and remove the mold from his face. We then made two castings of his face, one in plaster and one in bee’s wax. The plaster positive will be used as a form to sculpt oil based clay(plasticine) onto, to then mold again for a foam prosthetic appliance for a project later in the semester. It was successful and fun. Each student will be doing this process in the coming weeks. 2013-09-09-phantom-limb-casting-012013-09-09-phantom-limb-casting-072013-09-09-phantom-limb-casting-212013-09-09-phantom-limb-casting-262013-09-09-phantom-limb-casting-282013-09-09-phantom-limb-casting-362013-09-09-phantom-limb-casting-472013-09-09-phantom-limb-casting-512013-09-09-phantom-limb-casting-482013-09-09-phantom-limb-casting-642013-09-09-phantom-limb-casting-76

The Analog Document 8.28.13


1st in class assignment:

The Analog Document: The Art of Transformational Identity is a fast paced “hands-on” assignment using a combination of sculptural object-making and instant photography in relation to the human figure. Within a three-hour class period, students will be challenged to create an object, a body extension or mask, and a triptych of images using an instant film camera. Students will photograph the objects that they have created from a collection of supplied materials, and then edit the photographs down to a series of images to be shown as their final document.

Cinema, mug shots, found photos, snapshots, hoaxes, shape shifting, extra appendages, rapid aging, missing limbs, religion, horror, gore, gender politics, mystical healing, heroes and villains, monsters and aliens, fantastical creatures, hybrid forms, part man part animal, body extensions, and cabinet of curiosities, are a few examples of the content that students can use in their approach to this assignment.

The assignment will begin with a short lecture briefly covering sculptural prosthetics, body extensions, performance, photography and documentation in contemporary art. Students will be introduced to a variety of common materials and processes covering assemblage, instant analog photography, and quick/inexpensive material applications. Students will be asked to construct an object that relates to the body, the theme of which is of their own choosing. They will have an hour and a half to make their piece with the materials supplied using simple constructive techniques. After they have created their object they will stage and photograph 5 images. These objects may be attached to the body or can be stand alone sculptures. They will then be asked to choose the best 3 to exhibit as their final work. Students will then discuss and critique the finished pieces.