Thursday, November 27, 2008

From Concept to Creature!

This was a fun monster mask I did for a raffle contest at the Transworld Halloween show in Los Vegas, March of 2008. I did a quick concept in Photoshop beforehand. Then at the show, I did a live demo of the entire sculpture. Mold maker Jason King molded it; afterwards we carefully transported it back to the shop. Finally I cast and painted it for the winner John K. in Utah. I threw in a working LED light for the robotic eye. Originally, the raffle winner was supposed to receive a custom character likeness mask of his or her own head, but John liked my demo piece so much, he asked for a mask of it instead. I guess John didn't want to wear a mask of himself for Halloween

Behind the Door Sculpture

At this point I started building the set using 1/8" & 1/4" sign white acrylic sheets. I leave the protective film on the acrylic until it is absolutely necessary to remove. The Deprivation chamber was a bitch to mount to that wall. It's about 15 lbs and 2 feet wide. I cleaned the casting of the door and carefully mounted it to the Deprivation tank with a hinge to make sure it worked. While ensuring the fit, the Deprivation tank fell and broke the door in 2. Luckily it was a clean break and I fixed it with no problem. Phew…

These photos show the in progress sculpt of the inside of the door. I have a very narrow opening, so the puppet has to fit just right or the door won't open. I decided to have some fun and just free form this sculpture. My inspiration came from clams. I'm using 2 kinds of oil base clays, Monster makers and Chavant's Y2-Klay. I used the denser Y2 first by laying in a 1/4" layer for smoothing out the inside of the door and the soft waxy Monster Makers for the actual sculpt. Usually, sculptors don't mix 2 kinds of clay for one sculpture because it can get kind of messy, but for this particular sculpture I wanted to make sure I didn’t carve in too deep. Having a different color at the base of my sculpture kept me from doing that. I learned this technique when I worked for a tire company as a sculptor and mold maker for a brief period in my life. They used different colors of plaster to layer the tire in order to identify how deep they were carving for each pitch (groove in the tire). Pretty clever.


I did a brush up mold on the door sculpture using Smooth On Mold Max 30 with an Ultracal jacket. It makes me laugh to look at this peculiar mold because it reminds me of a Maxi-Pad.

After de-molding, I cast one copy using another Smooth On product called Shell Shock; a brush-able resin that has a consistency between melted ice cream and peanut butter. As you can see the casting came out OK. Then it was time to clean it up and start the interior sculpture of the door.

I finished the door using clay, and some tubes and model parts. It was fun to sculpt. The centerpiece reminds me a little of Iron Man. I did this after I saw the movie.