Friday, June 24, 2005

A Diversion:

For those of you who are sick of hearing about communication theories I present:

How To Make A Prosthetic Make-up:

I know you have all secretly wanted the premium Hallowe'en or costume party idea. Well, with these simple steps you can amaze your friends by giving yourself the make up that can turn you into Frankenstein, Pinnochio or any other weird face creature open to your imagination. Oh, and by the way, use these instructions at your own risk - all these materials are quite safe, but if you do not read the instructions properly and misuse them, you alone are responsible for what happens...

1) (If you are designing this make-up for yourself, somebody else has to do this bit) You must make a mold of your subjects face. For this you need:

a) Plaster Bandages (from craft store)
b) Water (from the tap)
c) A smock for yourself and your subject (it gets messy)
d) A bald cap for your subject (from a costume shop, to cover their hair)
e) Vaseline
f) Alginate Powder (You can get it from dental supply shops in Canada, In the States, order it
g) A hair dryer (not compulsary, but recommended)
h) Casting plaster

Sit your subject down, and MAKE SURE HE/SHE IS NOT CLAUSTROPHOBIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Put on the smock, and make sure your subject is wearing the bald cap. Smear the vaseline on any facial hair that remains after the bald cap is worn (upper lip, eyebrows, sideburns.)

Mix the alginate with water according to directions. Alginate is thick and gooey, but dries to a rubbery cosistency. You don't have much time from when you mix it until hen it dries (only about 2 - 5 minutes) so the next bit is tricky. You have to quickly cover your subjects entire face from chin to forehead with the alginate and YOU MUST LEAVE NOSE HOLES!!!!!!!! If you don't you will have a dead subject, and nobody will ever let you take a mold of their face again.

Now your subject is covered in goo, but the goo is fragile even after it dries, so the next step is to cover their face with the plaster bandages (dipped in water) Don't forget to still leave nose holes. At some point during this your subject is going to look a bit like "the mummy" so if you brought your camera, it's fun to take a picture at this point (hee hee) The plaster bandages will dry nice and hard over the alginate, but the drying process takes a little while, so you can speed it up using a hair dryer.

*Note - During this process it's good to have a signal - since your subject cannot speak. This signal means "I'm not ok, please get me out of here and is used if they feel uncomfortable or unable to breathe" IF THEY GIVE YOU A SIGNAL - ABORT!*

Still with me? Good. After the plaster bandages have dried get your subject to lean forward, and wiggle their face. This will loosen the alginate and allow you to gently remove alginate and plaster. Voila! you have a negative of your subject's face - well done! Now fill the negative with casting plaster, and when the plaster dries your subjects face will be looking back at you (when you remove it from it's alginate mold that is) Neato!

2) Sculpt your creature face on top of your plaster face. For this you need oil based clay. Go nutty! Extend the nose, create eyebrow ridges, whatever strikes your fancy. Then

3) Cast a negative of your sculpted face with casting plaster. But first, coat your mold in more vaseline, or better yet, a mold release agent, or else you plaster bits will stick together and you'll be annoyed, and have to start all over again.

5) Fill your negative with liquid latex (from here) or gelatine (also from here, or make it yourself, this guy has a recipe)

Wait until it hardens (over night is good)

Then - Give yourself a pat on the back, you're done!

I recommend that you follow instructions from here for a better step by step with pictures. I also recommend that you buy at least one book before starting. I have one that I learned how to make molds from, and I stand by doing your research before you start this stuff. Buy books here.

Remember. Be safe, Use common sense, and know your materials before you use them. I advise casting your own hand or foot before you cast somebody else's face. Anyway, have fun, and happy costuming!


Blogger Target Market said...

Thanks for the tips! An amusing departure from your normal subject matter; you truly are a renaissance girl!

By the way, I see you've discovered the joys of coloured text! Very flash.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

Thanks for the compliment on my rainbow post. I was trying to use the colours to emphasize the importance of not killing or maiming your subject :)

Wanna get your face done? I promise I'll leave nose holes :)

11:42 AM  
Blogger Target Market said...

Sure, as long as you don't kill or maim me... at least not too much. I quite enjoy breathing, and while it can be interesting to go without for a short while, it does become tiresome.

We could have a swap and help each other make purdy, sparkly, magical masks to bring joy to all the children. Or whatever.

11:50 PM  

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