Yesterday I applied paper mache the two parts of Zeus’s head I had carved previously from polystyrene (Check out earlier post ‘Carving Zeus’ Head to see this stage). My God! it took a surprisingly long time to do a few layers neatly. Worth it though to make it nice and strong as it will hopefully save on ill-timed fiddly repairs later.
Once the paper layers were on I dried it by an electric fire as it’s pretty cold in the workshop. You can see in this picture the spaces shaped inside the mouth for the operators fingers and thumb to sit. These will be covered with leather to make perfect sized pockets when the jaw is hinged. This will be detailed in further posts.
The next job was making the puppets right hand (my left hand will be the puppets left hand). So I cast the back of my right hand in plaster, once it had dried I filled in any air bubbles and blocked the wrist end with plasticine. Into this I poured a mixture of latex coloured with acrylic paint to achieve a suitable flesh colour, left it for a couple of hours and then poured the excess back into the tub which leaves a layer in the mould which should be dry by next week. Check out further posts to see what I do with it next.
If I have skimmed over any bits of this process that you would like to know more about please do ask me and I would be delighted to give you further information.