Resource Request for Silicone Mask Making

edited November 11 in General
Hi Everyone!

I'm starting my initial research phase for my next project, which is going to involve fabrication of a custom silicone mask. There are lots of fantastic videos and tutorials both on SWSCA, and further afield of the sculpting phase; however I seem to be turning up blanks when trying to find resources for the molding/casting process.

I initially managed to find some very top-level overviews through Immortal Masks, and 1 or 2 youtube videos, but like anything, there is going to be a lot more intricacy in the steps than can be overviewed in 4-minutes.

Can anyone suggest any good resources to get a better grasp of the subject?
If there are already courses on SWSCA, please let me know! (I just haven't managed to find one.)

For reference, my current (very broad) plan for the steps are:
  1. Accurate life-cast (Alginate, cast in plaster)
  2. Clay sculpt (WED/Monster Clay)
  3. Mold in Resin & Fiberglass - *Not sure what to do with separating teeth at this point.
  4. Cast the silicone with the initial lifecast as an mold-plug.
  5. Cast teeth in resin.
  6. Attach teeth, paint, and add hair.
Obviously, there're a lot of skills involved, so I'd rather approach the process with a better understanding of the intricacies of each step.

Thanks

Comments

  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Hi Charles,

    That's a subject we hope to cover in more detail in the future!  

    Your list of steps looks great.  You'll also want to include "power mesh" 2 way stretch fabric to reinforce your silicone so it is less likely to tear.

    /Chris
  • Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the reply, and I appreciate the tip about the power mesh - this was something that I noted when I first watched through Tested's 'Immortal Masks' walkthrough, which is the basis for a lot of my proposed approach at the moment.

    As I'm more interested in silicone work specifically at the moment, I think I've decided to skip over the alginate casting as the sculpture base, and instead work from a reduced core so that the final mask wants to retract and conform around key facial features.

    My biggest concern in terms of a knowledge gap right now is the mold-making process. All of the resources that I seem to be finding are how to mold a clay sculpture in silicone, but as I'm looking to cast in silicone, my instinct tells me that I need some kind of rigid gel-coat/fiberglass/resin mold - however I can't seem to find any resources on the best way to tackle that process. Having a process in place that doesn't inhibit the silicone is vital here; and ideally it would be great to have a process that doesn't completely destroy the sculpture (incase some touch-up work and a re-mold is required.)

    I know that most of the molds for Immortal Masks were done by Frank Ippolito, and I'm going to see if I can't stalk through his instagram and other social pages to find a decent overview in there somewhere.

    I look forward to seeing what future courses come to SWSCA on the topic.

    /Charles
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    You are correct that you would want a rigid mold when casting silicone parts.

    We do have some lessons on our roadmap that will cover making more complex syntactic epoxy molds, but I don't have an ETA on that yet.

    Our rod puppet lesson (https://www.stanwinstonschool.com/tutorials/make-a-monster-puppet-rods-cables) does have a few chapters where the instructor makes a fiberglass mold, which would help.

    /Chris
  • Frank Ippolito has a article on Tested where he goes into detail about making an epoxy mould
    https://www.tested.com/art/makers/460463-zoidberg-project-part-9-all-about-molding/
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