Working With A Genius…

This year I have been given the amazing opportunity to work with Martin Redman!

If you haven’t heard of him, he’s basically a celebrity in the sculpting world.

Martin Redman started his career as an apprentice at a bronze foundry, he’s worked alongside numerous artists helping to develop their portfolios, and he is currently working as a mould worker at Madame Tussauds in London.

Martin has been attending special effects sessions with us to develop our skills and offer his knowledge in this industry.

His advice has been continually helpful and I feel like I have grown and learnt so much as a make up artist in his presence.

The task I have been set involves choosing and moulding a character to be casted in silicone and applied to someone’s face as a prosthetic.

I am about half way through this project so I wanted to show you a few images of the development process so far and discuss my highs and lows.

My favourite part of creating a prosthetic piece so far has been moulding my actual  character, (Miss Piggy). It is so challenging to try and recreate a completely new face shape onto your own and I would advise getting a second opinion at several stages through you sculpting. Sometimes you cannot see where you are going wrong through looking too hard! I luckily had the help of my art teacher, Becky Truman to guide me through and it helped considerably. I am confident the shape and structure of my mould is very similar and recogniseable as Miss Piggy. I had to make my cheeks larger and rounder, my nose into a snout and my bottom lip rounder and fuller. There is the option of using platserlene or clay to sculpt with, I decided to use plasterlene as we have large gaps between lessons and it doesnt have to be kept moist. Clay however, is easier to work with and more maluable than plasterlene, yet it has to be stored well and sprayed with water every 3_4 days or else it will dry up.

I have also been tutored by a woman called Sue Day who has also spent many of her working years at Madame Tussauds, however, unlike Martin, Sue specializes in the painting, colouring and hair insertion of prosthetic pieces and wax models. She has worked on moulds for Michael Jackson and Will Smith and I was honored to have a few hours of her time.

The most important thing I learned when colouring my piece is that you MUST use oil based products on your silicone, as it is an oil based product itself. Anything else simply will not stick. Your paints are mixed together to find the right complexion colour, before being mixed with turps and liquid sillicone and applied to the prosthetic. I struggled sometimes under time constraints, this material must be worked with quickly because liquid silicone goes off in about 3_4 minutes.

I am really happy with my first attempt, due to the sillicone being pre-couloured in a similar shade to Miss Piggy’s skin tone, the only colour I had to add was blush around the nostrils, lips and cheeks, and shading in the nostrils and mouth.

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