Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Well that went well....

I started to make the other half of the moulds i'd been making but stupidly forgot to but in the bung and now can't get the new half of the plaster mould off. Basically a big cock-up.


I forgot to put a location mark in and a wedge.

Cleaned up the molds

I remembered to put in a wedge on this one.


But then i started doodling and came up with a design for my mermaid puppet. Hooray! Been struggling a bit with it, but i like the look of this fishy gal... 

I'm going to model her in plasticine and then take different parts of her and take casts, just to make tests of what i can make the puppet out of.


I went to see Aardman's new production: Pirates, today. I really enjoyed it, the craft in it was incredible! I'm finding it quite interesting how i'm beginning to what materials things are made out of, like foam latex for the character bodies. I can tell that they have been moulded to create folds in the costume.

At Rusty Squid, Rosie said that trimming and filling latex is a really important thing and that Aardman spend a lot of time perfecting what comes out of the moulds.
I've been trimming a latex cast to neaten it and remove the flash and any lumps of latex on the surface of the cast. Where there are holes i need to fill it with latex filler (can't remember proper name).
The scalpel blades become blunt really quickly, which makes cutting more difficult and you can't get a clean cut. Its frustrating, especially when you don't want to use up loads of blades.

Its not the best image, but you can make out the lines by the elbow and shoulder.

They also used 3-D printing to make replacement mouths. I think this works really well for the style of Aardman mouths. The smoothness the replacements shapes gave, made the characters really expressive.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Catch up...

Haven't posted anything for a while so i thought i should...

What have i been doing? Well, enjoying the amazing weather for one thing! But also i have been volunteering down at Puppet Place working with Rusty Squid. I started a few weeks ago, doing odd jobs for them- mainly sanding wood and filling holes in wood. That was fine, i quiet like doing tasks like that, its therapeutic and every one likes a bit of therapy. But now I'm onto more exciting stuff. They had made a 3 part plaster mold around a clay sculpt. I had to take a slush cast from it with latex. A slush cast or swill cast is when you pour in the latex, swill it round and pour it out so you get a hollow cast. Now I'm neatening the casts up and fixing any imperfections.

I'm really enjoying being there. It's great being surrounded by all the creative people and their work- Green Ginger and Pickled Image have workshop spaces there too.

And Handspring are rehearsing next door. Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones came in to have a look at the space and i got to talk to them briefly. Felt so in awe by them. I feel so in awe by everyone at the workshop to be honest. I just can't imagine being that talented. They can just be like "oh, we need to make this.......there we go!"

As for my project, I'm not doing so great. In my head i know what i need to do but I'm finding it so hard to get on with things. I just keep writing lists. Lists only do so much.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Dem Bones, Dem Bones

I scavenged a fish skeleton from work the other day. Its a Brill, in case you were wondering.

I had to freeze it because it was smelling, well, fishy... So that's what all the lumpy white bits are.
I'm going to defrost it and make a cast from it.

These textures are a thing of beauty...

Making babies

I've been playing around with plasticine this afternoon, making a foetus model i can later cast when i've reformed my clay that dried out.

I made a quick armature with garden wire and sculpy for the
I used normal sculpy and then after that was cooked
I did a layer of super light sculpy.

I built up around the armature with Tiranti modelling clay.

So once my clay's back to a usable state I'm going to make a mold from plaster and take casts in latex and in wax to see what happens....

My plan is to find some shark eggs (mermaid purses you might know them better as) and cast then in wax and put the foetus inside.

Here are some other plasticine things i made today:

Scales- Texture bat for casting

More scales for texture bat- I made this by cutting away layers
But can't do this very fine and it looks quite cartoony which i don't want!

This is very fine detail- I used the edge of a knife. I need to find
something that has a similar texture but won't leave the line.

Made a fish tail for fun. Might try and cast it...

Leda- she sleeps with the fishes

I was having a look at the Greek tale of Leda- a woman who had sex with Zeus while he was in the guise of a swan which resulted in her laying two eggs...

...So I thought about the narrative behind my project being the evolution of Merfolk, and what if they came about because some randy fisherman took advantage of his catch or a lonely fishwife was seduced by a mackerel.


Also I noticed that as an embryo develops there is a stage where they look quite fish like, so I'm taking that to try and develop some fishy humanoid breed.

Fish Feotus

Fishy babe

Salmon Sam...

Monday, 12 March 2012

Charlie Murphy

I was watching Jo Brand's 'the art of kissing' and there was an artist who made casts of couples' kisses. She gave them dental alginate to put in their mouths and then got them to kiss for 90seconds while it set.
She used the cast to make glass sculptures that are pretty darn cool. 

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Mold part 2

I finished off making my mold the other day...

Plasticine bung 
Take the bung out

The liquid soap should have made a barrier so the mold was easy to open. I had to prise mine open but it stayed intact.

Replace the armature so it fits snugly.

Replace the eyes back into the mold

Mark which way up the armature should be facing. And stop the bung hole with a bit of plasticine.

This is the silicone that we used to fill the molds.  It looks a bit like raw chicken.
This was coloured using a flesh coloured oil paint. Oil paint is best to add pigment.

The silicone comes in two parts. You have to be extremely careful not to contaminate either part with the other. Always use separate mixing containers and tools.

Mixing the separate  parts. One part was coloured using oil paint (yellow). Adding pigment to just one part keeps it translucent which is better for skin.

Mix until it is nicely blended.

Once the silicone had been mixed and left to settle for a bit to let the air bubbles rise, carefully painted the silicone onto the casting surface- this prevents air bubbles.

painting inside of the cast.

Do the same for the back.

Then gently pour the silicone so it hits the armature an flows around it.
Put the two halves together. The mold should be overfilled so
that when the two halves are put together the excess silicone
overflows up the bung.
Then leave for about three hours. I left mine over night...

Here you can see how the shim acts like a drainage system. 

Et voila! 

He has a few air bubbles but thats because we were working against the clock.

I can trim the seams and the back were silicone flowed into the bung.

Next I'm going to try out some Texture Bats- which are holds for creating textures- like fish scales for my mermaid....