Returning back to classes after reading week was a great feeling as I am always eager to learn more and there are undoubtedly greater opportunities for work experience before Christmas arrives!
In prosthetics class I made my third silicone piece (to enable me to practice). Whilst making up another mixture of silicone, the tutors introduced me to flocking (made up of many small fibre particles) which breaks up the surface. The flocking comes in various colours and will transform the silicone to your desired colour.
Sue Day (a freelance wax/colour/hair specialist and artist) kindly came into classes during this week. My tutor Martin works alongside her and he asked her to help our class paint our silicone pieces. Her presentation gave an insight into her background and career including the fascinating and varied work she has done. One of my favourite pieces of her work is the life before birth image of a Labrador puppy from the embryo stage. Sue used human hair to create the realistic vision of this and it just looked incredible. The link below will take you directly to her website, this includes her story, what she does and also provides a gallery as well as a video of her work and who she has replicated wax works of.
Watching a video of Beyonce describing her step by step transformation when she was getting her wax work built was both informative and enthralling. In total it took three months to complete and a motor boat was placed in rubber in the bum area so that it shook (as this is a signature for Beyonce!!!). Another contemporary craze is placing lights underneath the rubber in the cheeks (facial!!!) so that if someone compliments one of the waxworks, the cheeks will light up and it appears that they’re blushing. For me it is captivating how much effort and thought can be put into waxworks and I learnt so much from this very enjoyable lesson. The last time I visited Madame Tussauds (London) was when I was a young girl and I have only vague memories of it. Another trip is definitely on my “must do” list and hopefully the new Tokyo exhibition will be my venue of choice as I will be visiting relatives in Japan in summer 2013!!
The following day Sue showed me how to paint my silicone piece using regular oil paints (oil on oil as water paints would wipe off) and bath sealant (this makes the paint stick to my piece). Cheap nylon brushes can be used and it is sensible to have different sized brushes for different areas of the face. Firstly I applied acetone all over my piece (to clean it before paint is applied). I used a range of colours including, peach, yellow, red, pink, white and black. Each colour apart from black had to be mixed together with a carving knife in order to create a new colour, e.g. red, pink and white for the lip colour before applying bath sealant (60% bath sealant is needed and 40% pigment). You have to work very fast with bath sealant as it starts to go tacky after approximately 4 minutes therefore once it has ruined, another mixture needs to be made. Turps can be added to thin it down a little if required as the silicone can become quite thick and tacky in texture. The images below show just some of the fabulous and creative silicone paintings that Sue has created.
The hardest part of all of the tasks so far for me was painting. The result disappointed me as I found it very messy and my first piece looked quite heavy as well as streaky. Here is how it looked in the image below.