Tag Archives: clay

End of Year Show: Preperation

9 Jun

Over the past week I have been working on my end of year show piece. I’m working in a group with some of the really great girls in my year so I’m excited to see the final results on Thursday.

My role within the group was to design the facial makeup and create the gill and spine prosthetics – I also collaborated with Shona on some of the details of her body-paint role. We all discussed what each of us had worked on and brought our ideas together to create a final plan we were all happy with, updating each other regularly with our progress on our Facebook group.

Today I am in Uni, creating the PlasSil moulds. I was originally going to create 3D transfers using Pro-bondo however I have realised this won’t really work as I need to use the moulds to make several pieces. So I’m going to use liquid latex. I hate using liquid latex for prosthetics; alas, needs must. I’ve been speaking to Grace McComisky about how she creates her pieces as I need to work on more substantial materials for my appliances! (PS. Anyone want to give me some make-up work so I can earn the money to BUY these materials – much appreciate 😉 )


First Layer of PlatSil

First Layer of PlatSil



2014 – Y2S2

28 Jan

It seems not so long ago that I was filled with excitement to start this course, now it is almost over!

So, as previously mentioned, this semester I will be focussing on technical processes in the special effects workshop, whilst still paying attention to design and artistic development.

During the first two weeks, we will be doing casts of hands and ears, as well as recapping (excuse the pun…) our wig cap and eyebrow blocking processes. Today we started with the ears…



  • Tepid Water
  • 2x Mixing Bowls
  • Alginate
  • Blue Roll/Thick Tissue
  • Cotton Wool
  • Thin Plastic Sheeting
  • Vaseline
  • 2x Strong Card Cups
  • Clay
  • Modrock
  • Crystacal Plaster
  • Your model, and a helper!


  1. Follow PPE! Get your overalls on and ensure your model is also covered to protect their skin and clothing.

    I need overalls of my own.

    I need overalls of my own.

  2. Lay the model down on their side comfortably, with support for their head/neck, ensuring the ear is level. Now Vaseline the hair away form the area, keeping it smooth.
  3. Next, cut a 2-3″ slit in the thin plastic, positioning over the model’s ear, again making sure all materials around the ear as as flat and smooth as possible.
  4. Insert cotton wool into the ear – not too deep, just enough to ensure no alginate mixture is able to get inside the body.unnamed
  5. Place the larger half of the up over the ear (with both ends exposed, not covered). Place the blue roll around the  base of the cup to ensure that the Alginate does not seep onto the face and body and out of the protective wall.
  6. Mix half a cup of tepid water with Alginate, until a porridge like mixture is formed. You have 2-3min until this mixture goes off so you need to work quickly. The hotter the water temperature, the quicker the mix will go off. Use your hands to combine the mixture and squeeze out any lumps. Now pour this into the cup slowly, aiming behind the model’s ear.DO NOT pour excess down the sink – it will block it! Instead, wait for it to dry and peel it out of your mixing bowl and place in the bin.unnamed-2
  7. Once the Alginate has set, carefully release the suction by working around the base of the cup (removing the supportive blue roll), then working with the direction of the ear, peel away the mould case. Make sure to leave the cotton wool attached to the Alginate. Remove the plastic sheeting if you are sure it will not effect the mould shape.unnamed-4
  8. Now, position the second cup over the top of the first, again leaving both ends exposed. Create a clay/modrock bandage to attatch the cups together.unnamed-1unnamed-3
  9. Create your plaster, working in a ventilated area and adding the plaster to half a cup of tepid water slowly until islands are made on the surface.  Once all dissolved, mis with the hands to ensure consistency is even and of a double cream thickness. Now pour this into the flood walls, ensuring to tap out the bubbles. Again do not pour any excess down the drain, wait for the plaster to sediment and pour away the water, wiping out as much of the plaster as possible and placing in the bin. Now we wait!!

    please excuse the bad pictures!

    Shona's Ear Cast

    Shona’s Ear Cast

Tomorrow we shall be working on eyebrow blocking. Stay tuned!

Ah! PS. I also received this amazing book in the post, to help me with my creature design!



Life Casting – Negative Creating & Silicone Running

11 Nov

Today I went into uni to catch up with my SFX work, having been off for work experience. Today I created my negative over the sculpted clay, to finish my mould and run my silicone piece.

Below you can see my finished sculpt, the top clay half is my primary piece, the lower half is a back up piece incase anything goes wrong with the top part.

To create the negative mould, we carried out the same steps as doing the initial life cast, only this time, we already have the facial mould to use. Check back through my earlier SFX posts to find more in depth details about this procedure, heres a quick run through –

1. Create the clay/modrock wall and cover the interior in Vaseline.

2. Fill with plaster, using a double skrim layer for support.

Clay/Modrock Wall

Clay/Modrock Wall

Creating the Plaster Negative

Creating the Plaster Negative

3. Allow to set for approximately 15min, then break open. remove all clay and particles from the interior to ensure the shape of the silicone run is not altered.

Plaster Negative

Plaster Negative

4. Once this has been done, we are ready to run! Place the mould on a stable horizontal surface, and pour in the silicone. Place the first part of the mould (the positive side) within the negative. Those holes we drilled earlier will help get positive to negative positioning correct. Silicone will run out the sides so watch out. Place a small dab of the silicone on top of the mould to help determine if the silicone has set.

Time to pour!

Time to pour!

Running the Silcone

Running the Silicone

5. After about 45min, it’s time to break open! You’ll have to come back next week to see the silicone piece!

Breaking Open!

Breaking Open!

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…