Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Life Cast

The third Saturday of every month is the day for the CalHaunts make-n-take. Because of being completely slammed last year (starting up a business, getting my work into a museum, etc.), I hadn't been able to go play with my club buddies, so I was really excited when I could make it and do the build this time.
I especially was happy to catch up with folks and get a very nice crop of hugs, too. This past Saturday was a particularly fun make-n-take, since we got to do some life-casting.  The Speedo can, it turns out, was not necessary for the build, since teacher Ed Martinez had some nice skull caps to use. I wish I had thought to take off the Speedo cap before the casting, as it was so tight it gave me a huge headache, and I couldn't take it off once we started because I would have ruined the mold.
Chris Ape was on hand to help. Pictured here with friend Cory.

Ape stayed out of the way because he didn't want any silicone in his fur, and who can blame him?Friend Stacy and I were each other's modeling partners, and she did a fantastic job. After lubing my face, eyebrows and eyelashes liberally with petroleum jelly, she started  the process. Robert of Mantooth Manor and Perfessor Evil ran around and lent deft hands wherever needed. Robert had already taken on the lion's share of the work by organizing this particular make-n-take, and boy, did it run smoothly!
Some folks are lucky to have a significant other who loves haunting as much as they do. Oh, and who also comes with his own body bag!
CalHaunter Scott, who is too sexy for his bag!
So, after three coats of the silicone stuff, plaster bandages are applied on the outside, so the mold is protected. Do I need to mention that it's not allowed to cover up people's nostrils during this procedure?
 After everything has cured, it's time to get the mold separated from the face. The model blows through the mouth and puffs up his or her cheeks to get the stuff started in that direction. Below is the "Holy crap, that hurts!" look, as some of my eyebrows and eyelashes came out in the mold, in spite of the huge slathering of petroleum jelly.
Peek-a-Boo! After an hour or so under the silicone, I was free! I really would have to warn anyone who is claustrophobic NOT to attempt a life cast of their faces. While I don't suffer from that malady, it was a very isolating experience, even for me. I was more than ready to get the whole thing off!

Next, it was my turn to help Stacy out. 
Below, Robert is helping in his own special way... 

In the end, I had a really good casting to work with. Today or tomorrow, I'll get the plaster cast done and share it with you!

I did a little looking around and found this book on makeup effects, in case you're interested. While I haven't read it as of yet (because I have at least thirty books to read before I can even think about getting to this one...) it looks like it had some good reviews. One thing I would tell you as a safety tip is DO NOT attempt to put plaster over someone's face in order to take a life cast. Plaster has an exothermic reaction while it's setting, and that means it is really hot as it's going through its process, which could burn your model's face. Be smart, people!


  1. I was thinking how does that not freak a person out. Then I realized not everyone is claustrophobic like me.

  2. Memories...great shots.

  3. I think that's really awesome. I'd be uneasy near the end of it, wanting it off my face. I've done a plaster cast of my face once in high school but this is by far cooler.

    And think of all the fun you can have with it :)

  4. Very fun you guys! Wow...I so gotta move.

    Thanks for saying "hi" to Cory for me. :)


  5. Nice! Looks like you guys had a blast!

    I have that makeup effects book. It's the best I've found, sine dubio.


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