The next step was to make a fibreglass and silicone mother mould of my cast. I started by doing the back first because the Tinsil silicone had not been delivered yet, but I wanted to get as far ahead as I could. In the original lifecast my model was wearing the bald cap over his ears so I didn’t need to take the undercuts of the ears into consideration when I was building the flange wall.
As I had been blending the clay wall and building the plaster bandage support shell, the wall had slipped back a bit and I didn’t notice. This meant that when I was applying the fibreglass, I was applying it further back than I originally thought. As I removed the plaster bandage shell and clay wall I noticed that the fibreglass was not quite at the midway point in the cast, this created an undercut behind the ear on both sides and behind the neck on one side. If I just ignored this then the fibreglass would most likely trap the cast inside because there is no bend or give to fibreglass. To get around this problem I filed down the ear bumps slightly because they are not crucial as the model is wearing a bald cap. I also had to build the silicon thixotropic layer higher at these points, covering the undercut and providing the flexibility needed to separate the mould.
Once the silicone layers had cured overnight I could start removing the wall and tidying the silicone. I was then ready to move onto the next stage and make the fibreglass front shell. Because I would be laminating fibreglass straight onto fibreglass I had to use a lot of wax release and release spray to make sure that the two did not fuse together and become inseparable. Fibreglassing the front of the mould was a lot harder than the back because it was slightly bigger with the silicone, which meant that I had to work a lot quicker to get a layer done before the resin set. Another reason that I found the front half a lot harder was because of the keys, they trapped air bubbles very easily which made the fibreglass weaker. Because of the difficulty I was having fibre glassing the keys the edge of the flange wall was very thin which made it harder to de-mould when it was cured.
Once the silicone was completely set it was time to separate the mould. First I had to drill bolt holes so that I could perfectly re-align and attach it back together when I was making the fibreglass core. The edges of the flange were extremely thin and this meant that there was a lot more risk of them snapping and breaking as I tried to separate it. The mould came apart without too much trouble and I was now ready to start making the fibre glass cast of my model for sculpting onto.
To help me with the design process of creating my final piece I have been sketching a few ideas and images. I don’t have much of an art background so my sketches are all experimental and have room for improvement. Hopefully the more I get into drawing on a regular basis my sketching will improve and I will become more confident in my ability.
Over the weekend I went to Wheelsby Woods in Grimsby to look for some images to use as texture reference of nature. The character of The Faun in “Pan’s Labyrinth” has the appearance of being a part of nature, looking as if he himself is made of wood and leaves and stone. I took photos of everything that I thought could be relevant including leaves, trees, dirt, stone, and grass. Hopefully I will be able to use these images to help me when I am sculpting and colouring my prosthetic.
The next thing that I had to do was to take a life cast of my model to get a plaster cast of him. The plaster cast will be a perfect copy of his whole head, neck and the tops of his shoulders. I will only be working on the facial area so I wont need to capture all of the shoulder area, just enough to give the cast a secure base. I was really pleased with how the cast came out, there were a couple of rips in the alginate that I had to patch up before pouring in the plaster but they were easily repairable.
Once the plaster had set I removed it from the plaster bandage shell and started cleaning it up. Cleaning the cast was pretty easy since there were no major distortions or imperfections. Once I had finished, the cast was ready to mould for a fibreglass copy.
Once I knew what creature I was doing I had to start looking for a model. One of the main features that I had to think about when I was picking a model was the shape of their face and the position of their features. To make sure that my model had the correct face shape I took a photo of him straight on and traced his features over to an image of the actor who played the Faun in the films, Doug Jones. I then sketched onto tracing paper over an image of my model what I thought the make-up will look like.
My initial idea was to create a whole character of my own inspired by nature and woodland. My brief then changed to replicating a creature from a film. I chose the Faun because it is one of my favourite creature designs.
Once I knew what I was doing I started to think about what material I wanted to make it out of and how I was going to make it. The original prosthetic is made of foam latex so I decided that mine should also be foam latex because I want it to look as similar to the original as possible. For the creation process I would need to take a full head life cast of my model, then make a 2 part silicon mould, and cast a fibreglass positive, lighter and stronger than the original plaster one. The next step is to sculpt the make-up and make a mould of that to either pour or inject the foam latex into. I can then cook the latex and colour it ready for application.
In this blog I will be keeping an on-line record of all of the work, research, and designs that I do for my FMP. My project is to recreate the facial prosthetic for the Faun character from “Pan’s Labyrinth”.