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Silicone Mould/PlatSil Appliances

12 Jun

These past few days I have been making big progress on the SFX front… I feel like I’m actually learning useable skills now! (Thanks to Natalia!!). Having created my moulds (actually I did use PlatSil for these and created a Modrock shell to keep the shape, but as I have now realised, using a stronger silicone; such as BlueSil, would have been more appropriate), I have now started creating my PlatSil pieces, encapsulated with cap plastic (2x 1:1 dilution layers, 2x 1:0 layers).

So, my first appliance… made a couple of mistakes. Definitely don’t need accelerator on a warm day!! So that didn’t work out. I also realised I only want the PlatSil in the deeper parts – as they’re flat backed pieces, it needs to be Cap Plastic backed to make sure they encapsulate properly, stick to the skin and can be blended out efficiently.

So, Version 2.0 worked out great. Now for the other 7 pieces to make!

Photo on 2014-06-11 at 14.39 #5 Photo on 2014-06-11 at 15.52 #6

Reflection and Photography

3 May

I dream of travelling the world, meeting people from every corner and widening my reality.

I want to understand people’s faces, I want to learn about people not just from their words, but from what I see and experience. I feel through excessive use of media my senses have become dulled to the world around me. I have spent hours and hours in from of my laptop, often living what I see as an almost purely synthetic existence. Don’t get me wrong – the internet is a vast melting pot of useful information and inspiration to be seized, but what and I really gaining from the experience? Could I be spending my time on this earth better?

Being an individual who’s every action depends upon intensive gut feelings, I think perhaps the reason my life sometimes feels so empty, is because I am not listening to what my mind and soul are asking for. Vivid, interactive personal experience.

Day 01. PHOTOGRAPHER: Victoria Stansfield

Day 01.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Victoria Stansfield

When considering my art, within the fashion industry I have found makeup can be quite passive – and is often dictated by someone else. I myself am a result of media contortion and am often incredibly self objective, as are many other women (and men). I do not want to be part of an industry in which women are made to feel uncomfortable with themselves and their lives. I watched a great Ted Talk my friend Steph posted up and it summarises these issues well. Take a look….

Whilst working within the fashion industry, we feel are creating something beautiful, but in actual fact we are producing only destruction. We are crushing the self confidence of millions of women, debilitating their daily lives and increasing self hate and jealousy. Why are we doing this to ourselves? Is this really how we think we should be acting and feeling? Is there not something better for us out there?

I feel by doing any kind of fashion makeup, I am tearing myself away from the path towards my mountain (thanks for the advice Gaiman!) – both morally and artistically. I feel I have been easily led into fashion by the promise of instantaneous reward, particularly in monetary terms. However, despite the draw, I am to stop taking part in this game and follow what is true to myself, now focussing on my workshop practice (the SFX discipline I most enjoy), along with performance work.

Day 02. PHOTOGRAPHER: Victoria Stansfield

Day 02.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Victoria Stansfield

Back to the photography side of this post.

I want to really focus on life, I want to get out there, see it, do it, capture it. I have decided to get back into photography. My main interest is within documentary, journalistic and portraiture photography – but I’m not going to focus on that too much whilst I learn to use my camera again. I feel by doing this I will train myself to look closer into what is around me and re-connect with people – or even just learn to connect as I am a child of the social media technology era and have grown up plugged in.

From now on, you shall be getting more mini-updates, as I invite you to share in my life adventure, one photo at a time.

I cant promise they’ll all be wonderful, but everyone starts somewhere. It’s just where it takes you along the way that is what matters.

I implore you do do something that will take you to new places, and fill your heart with light and happiness.
Look beyond your computer screen and reach to the world outside.

Day 03. PHOTOGRAPHER: Victoria Stansfield

Day 03.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Victoria Stansfield

Eyebrow Blocking

29 Jan

Today as a class, in broken down groups we demonstrated to each other different ways of blocking out eyebrows; discussing the process, products and uses within the professional industry. The purpose of this task was not only to learn the obvious, but stretch our experimental abilities; questioning what was being asked of us and trying to formulate specific ways in which brow blocking worked for us personally.

I was in a group with Leanne and Emily, we split the task between us, sharing research, display and practical task. Prior to the presentation day, we did a trail run.

Despite our mistake in the size and cut of our eyebrow piece, we concluded that our process was the most successful in terms of visibility when done correctly. However, cap plastic application may not be required if dealing with a theatre production, as the detail will not be visible from far away. In reality, if dealing with a HD production, the actor would need to shave off or wax their eyebrows; as such small details would easily be recognised on the screen, rending coverup redundant.

Cap Plastic Application

Cap Plastic Application

Below you can see examples of the other groups’ work.


Soap Application


Wax Application


Pritt Stick Application


Pro-BOndo Application

Teaching Makeup

29 Oct

Recently I have found myself teaching lots of people bits of makeup; be it people who are generally interested in doing makeup, do face painting at events, or performers seeking to improve their act.

Initially, I was cautious of sharing, cautious of adding competition to an already saturated industry. However, I quickly came to realise that what ever you want from the world, is what you should be giving yourself – why stifle happiness, progress and art when you can help spread it! I think having positive faith in the world and the depth of people is important, in fact it’s a view that is vital to my mental well being. Look after the world and it will look after you.

So, recently I’ve been teaching both John Godbolt and Sophia Weatley (Bella Trix) some performance makeup, so they can do it themselves when on the job. The simplest of tips can make something so much better! In return I’ve been receiving stilt and hoops lessons – and I am improving for sure, it’s exciting stuff! I’ll be posting videos up as soon as I can get something good (or at least entertaining) sorted.

Here are Jon’s makeup efforts from last week’s lesson:


Makeup by John Godbolt

Makeup by John Godbolt

Makeup by John Godbolt

If anyone ever wants help with something they enjoy doing, please just get in touch and I will be more than happy to help. I have found Facebook is a great way to ask for/give advice!

Anyway. I think all I’m trying to say with this one is don’t keep your knowledge all locked up and to yourself. Spread it around as someone did for you and you’re sure to find yourself and your world much richer for it.

SFX: Postiche

9 Oct

It is great having a housemate who starts at the same uni at the same time. After a team breakfast, Eve and I rolled out of the house and slept our way to uni on the bus. Something tells me I should be using this time better, maybe I should charge my nexus once in a while…

First up we had SFX, today we started our postiche work! Postiche is the addition of extra hair to the body – this could be wigs, moustaches, body hair or even ear hair.

To start with this was incredibly difficult, however, by the end of the lesson I had got the hang of it. I can get very obsessive and addicted to processes (although easily distracted) so whilst a monotonous and complex task, I can already tell this is something which will absorb me for hours on end when we come to working on patterns.

Part of our project in this section is to create a moustached character based on 20th century fashions. I should be getting to work on this next week. Ok, so the basic method…


You will need…

  • Cling Film
  • Permenant Marker
  • Selotape
  • Your Model
  1. The first thing we need to do is wrap the face in cling film. We then cover the desired area in Selotape, extending the edges around the face for placement security.
  2. Next we create our reference points, in this test run we will mark on the nostrils and lips.
  3. Lastly, we draw on our pattern! This can then be covered with more tape to protect it from rubbing off. We can now remove our pattern from the face and cut it out.
    My glamourous assistant Fee.

    My glamourous assistant Fee.


The finished piece - I haven't cut out the pattern as we won't be using this for our final piece (this is just a demo)

The finished piece – I haven’t cut out the pattern as we won’t be using this for our final piece (this is just a demo)


Okay so today we didn’t go as far as starting our facial pieces. Much more research and practice is needed! However we did get down how to start the knotting process.

You will need…

  • Wood Block
  • Black Card
  • Textiles Hammer
  • Selotape
  • Wood Pins
  • Human Hair (roots and tips in order)
  • Lace (Fronting Lace)
  • Fish Hook Knotting Needle
  1. Take a wood black and tape a piece of black card to it. We do this so we can see the blonde-red hair we will be using more clearly.

    Woodblock + backing.

    Woodblock + backing.

  2. Next take a piece of lace and using a small textiles hammer, hammer the woodpins onto the block, working 0.5cm from the lace and working around the edge to ensure no pulling I the fabric. Make sure the fabric is places horizontally or vertically to deter the weft from stretching. Hammer the pins flat to the board to stop the lace from sliding off.
    The pins on the left are too far apart and messy. The pins on the left are correct!

    The pins on the left are too far apart and messy. The pins on the right are correct!

    This is a frequent and slightly irritating situation.

    This is a frequent and slightly irritating situation.

  3. Here comes the tricky part. Take 3-8 pieces of hair from the hair organiser (I can’t remember the name of this – update later), make a loop at the root. Use the brutal object below to pull the loop under just one section of lace and then slip the loop into the crook of the needle. Keep the tension.
    Medieval looking hair organiser.

    Medieval looking hair organiser.

    Fish hook needle.

    Fish hook needle.

  4. Next, wrap the hair in the non dominant (non needle holding) hand from front to back around the needle, turning the needle anticlockwise as you do this. Hood the new loop into the end of the hook and pull through the initial loop, held in the crook of the needle. Sound simple enough? If you would like more information on this please message me for help! I might even make a video of how to do this next week.
Finally - knots!

Finally – knots!


After a short while it becomes easier and neater, it’s good to experiment with speeds of working, techniques and amount of hair used.

Next up we had our PDP lesson. Nothing to write home (or to the internet) about.

Thats it for uni this week! Tomorrow sees circus training, french lessons, essay writing and researching for my prosthetic piece!


Faceplant: Sub Txt Video released

8 Oct

Check out the music video I worked on with my housemate’s band – Faceplant!

Mike's body paint

Mike’s body paint

On set touch ups with Oli

On set touch ups with Oli

Working on this project with the guys was great, I love working on big collaborations with friends, credits to the following:

The band – Oli Kilpatrick, Mike Akers, Monty and Chris Priest
Assistant Makeup Artist – Zoe Johnson
Lighting – James Dickson (Elixer Lighting)
Photography, Videography and Editing – Scott Salt, Chris Little and Callum Whiteley
Venue – Beaver Works (Carol Robinson & Graham Higgins)

It took about 8 hours to get the band painted up between us, I did Oli and Mike’s UV work, Zoe worked on Monty and Chris. I’m so glad I had her to help me as I couldn’t have done it in that time without her, it’s really hard working with UV pens in UV lighting for so long! The boys brought a feast for us all to eat so we were all kept well and had lots of fun. I can’t wait to work with them again some day!

SFX: Face Casting – Part 2

8 Oct

This week I was supposed to go and work in London at Troxy Club, however due to money and working with the teacher from Madame Tussauds I decided I should be staying up North and getting my Uni work done – luckily there are lots of amazing makeup artists that were willing to help me out and cover for me on this occasion.

I’m going to go to London as little as possible during term time this year (though I would like the chance to go work with Avolites again). I really want to get the last year of this course done and utilise my time as efficiently as possible so I can develop rapidly. It’s a shame though as I love London and have many lovely people there I would like to see!

My housemate Eve is now living with me properly, which is fantastic as she is a fellow artist and we can sit and do art together. She’s brilliant at drawing so it really helps me out and her style of work really fits with mine – we both work in makeup, costume and design for film and performance so we always have lots to do together!

Plus we both love horror films and drink red wine; always a great bonus. Tonight we’re watching Them (2006) and The Thing (1982).


Today we have been back in the workshop working on our face casts. We started off with creating the base for the casts we made last lesson.


For this we used:

  • Skrim
  • Plaster
  • Wood Block
  • Knife
  • Clay
  • Modrock
  1. We first placed the fast cast in the middle of our wooden block and drew a line approximately 1 inch away from out mask in a circular fashion. Having completed this step we sliced and cut our clay and created a wall approximately 1.5-2inches high.

    Creating the clay wall

    Creating the clay wall

  2. We then used several modrock strips dipped in warm water to create a strengthening barrier around our wall.
  3. Following the creation of our wall, we removed out face cast from the work area, and placed it in about 2 inches depth of cold water so the plaster could absorb the water and become playable again.
  4. We used wax to coat the wood base and ensure the plaster we would be later adding into our base area would not stick when dried.
    Wax on...

    Wax on…



  5. Moving into the second workshop, we created plaster with cold water under the extractor, making thick double cream-like paste. This was poured into the base area and several layers of skrim added for strength as when creating the original face cast.

    Creating the plaster base

    Creating the plaster base

  6. Once the plaster base has begun to set, add the now playable face cast to the piece, submerging the edges under the wet plaster. Leave this to dry. (Mine sank a little more on one side. Annoying, but not the end of the world.)

    attaching the face cast to the base

    Attaching the face cast to the base

  7. When the plaster is dry to touch, use a knife to cut away the modrock bandage and clay wall.
  8. Having removed the excess materials, then fill in any gaps around the face cast using a thick mixture of plaster.


  1. Once the plaster base has dried we can start to edge off the rough parts and any imperfections in the base that will effect our mould, we do this using sandpaper, files, chisels and graters; as we didn’t have much time i wasn’t able to act as as much as a perfectionist as I would have liked, but it will still serve it’s purpose.
  2. Next, drill 4 dents into the flat plaster base, this will serve as an alignment aid later in the process.
  3. Once we are happy with our cast we then start sealing it with shellac plaster seal until the sealant has soaked through so much it is drying shiny on the surface. Applying the shellac takes patience. If you want to feel like you’re doing it faster use the dark brown colour…

    3rd layer...

    3rd layer…

  4. 5th layer?

    5th layer?

    12th layer...?

    12th layer…?


Final sealing of the base

Final layer! (28th?!)


With  the base now completed and drying in my kitchen, it’s time to get to my sketchbook and start researching and drawing up the design for my prosthetic so i can finally start sculpting. Something creature related for sure…