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In this tutorial I will show you how I make a fake silicone head.
Above you can see the end result.
The head was made for the opera Salome on the Malmö Opera in Sweden.

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Fredrik Zetterström.
This is the singer who portrayed John the baptist who gets his head served on a plate.

First of all you need to take lots and lots of reference photos.
For this project I think I took nearly 150 photos of Fredrik.

You need both full size pictures and extreme close ups for your sculpt and hair work.

I also take a full set of measurements so I can make sure that my sculpt has the correct dimensions.

The finished head didn't need any teeth but I made some and will include them in this tutorial.

Here you can see me doing a full head cast of Fredrik using alginate on the front reinforced with plaster bandages and the back was made with plaster only.

Here is the front half of the mold
on the left and the back to the right.

Close up on the front.

As the back half was only made with plaster bandages you will have problems getting the clay press to come loose. To avoid this I make a very thin mix of alginate and brush it all over the surface.

This is plasteline that I melt in an oven at 150 °C. You can use a number of different clays but if you are making a silicone head make sure that your clay is sulphur free.

The melted clay is VERY hot so do take care not to hurt yourself when you are brushing or slushing the clay into your mold
s.

When you have built up a layer of about 2.5 cm / 1" on both front and back it is time to put the mold
halves back together.

To hold the halves together I wrap a few layers of plaster bandages around them.

Now I start filling the gap between clay halves.
Start with brushing the top and then....

.....slush the hot clay into it. This is dangerous!!!
Please wear all the protection you can find!
I once had the visor covered in melted clay which could have ended up on my face.
Could have been an interesting new look but I am opting for the ugly mug I already have.

Once you have a good coat in I fill the mold
with cold water to help it cool.
Now it just to start playing the waiting game and not open the mold
to soon.

I have problems with waiting.
Many times I have rushed things and opened the mold
and destroyed stuff.
So please wait until it is cold. At least 2 hours.

Here I am ripping the alginate and plaster bandages off carefully. No tools, just use your hands as tools might damage the clay head.

So here he is in the raw clay form, ready to be cleaned up for mold
ing.

Shaving, creating new textures and changing anything that didn't come out as you wanted it.
If you want it to have open eyes this is the stage when you put them in and sculpt eyelids.

I think I spent about 5 hours fixing it up.

Here is the finished sculpt.

Lets talk about the unused teeth a while!
Here are the casts of his teeth made with S3 filled with aluminium powder. I love this stuff.
Buy it from www.mold
life.co.uk
 


Another picture of them.

We will now make a silicone mold
of the teeth using a silicone putty.

Take two spoonfuls and put it flat on the table.

Add the catalyst.

 Work it into the silicone properly.

Press the teeth slowly into the putty trying to avoid all air pockets or bubbles.

Work it up to the top of the teeth.
Make sure it has a good thickness everywhere.

All the way to the top.

Wait for it to dry and go back and re-sculpt something you weren't happy with.
Or watch television or go to the loo.
But don't take them out until they are dry!

Are they dry yet?? Ok, then take the teeth out of the mold
s.
 
Now you need to wear gloves!
You should get Nitrile gloves as they will give you the best protection.
You should also have extra ventilation as the chemicals can be harmful to your health.
I am so into safety and you should be too!

The teeth will be made with cold acrylic resin and I start with putting some monomer in the mold
.

Then I start putting acrylic powder of a correct shade into the liquid. Add more liquid as you need it. Fill it up to the top of the teeth.

Put into hot water to speed up the hardening.
After about 15 minutes you can pop out the teeth.

Using a Dremel tool I file down the plastic that has come into the gum area.

Put the teeth back into the mold
.

Mix up some red acrylic and put it on top of the teeth.

Wait 10 minutes and then take them out.

Polishing them may need many different tools and polishing waxes. Test everything until you are happy. It took me years to find local product to do the job right

So here they are. Finished teeth that would never be used.

But they looked quite good.
I don't know where they are now. Sad really.
 
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