How to make a base?


I am just learning to do make-up effects and there are some things I need help understanding.

1. What to use as a base?
I'd like to make some silicone appliances but I am not sure what to sculpt them on? I do have a life cast of myself (face only, one with and one without flange). Can I sculpt on these and make a mold directly on top? Or do I need to float off the piece (it would be just 1 piece, not a sculpture that needs to be cut into different pieces).
If I need to float it off, how to I make the base for the piece? 
Also, can I make some kind of generic base to sculpt on instead?

2. How to make/buy a core?
I don't have anyone that can make a full head cast of me. Can I use some kind of a generic form to sculpt on? That would be quite nice so I could also make pieces to fit other models, but I'm not sure if that would even be possible?

With both of these questions I am just thinking about prosthetics companies and how they sell pieces that should fit a wide variety of people. So surely there must be a way to make generic bases?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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