clay model & silicon rubber mold & polyester & glass fibre
" When I was a kid, playing, I pretended to be dead by sticking my tongue out like this, and putting my arms and legs up in the air. This strange view on death originated from what I'd seen, in Friesland, around farms. When a cow or pig died, the farmer would put it by the side of the road, covered with a bath tub. A dead cow: with four stiffened limbs up in the air, that is what death looked like.
Also the starting point of this work: my fascination for anatomic models and drawings. And my love for detail."
This is how the work was made
First I model the face and all the details very precisely in clay. I use a mirror and a ruler (or piece of rope) for measurements. For instance, I measure the distance between my mouth and nose and copy that in the clay model.
The eyes are carved and flat. Later they will be filled up with polyester, to make them look more like shiny eye balls.
Now (without pictures, sorry) the mold is made of silicon rubber, in one piece.
To support the flexible mold, a plaster support mold is cast around it.
When the mold is ready, I wash it and remove the clay.
The work will be made from polyester resin with glass fibre.
Before casting, the mold is put in a box for stability.
Then I mix the first amount of polyester, without glass-fibre, but with a bit of skin-tone oil paint. This first layer will be the visible side. I brush the resin in the silicon mold. The resin is thin like water, so it runs down into the deepest part of the mold. I kept on brushing it on the mold, until It got a bit sticky. Then I left it for 24 hours.
The next layer is resin with glass fibre and oil paint. The work needs about 6-7 layers.
When the resin is completely dry, I take it out of the mold.
It needs some extra touches to make it stronger on some points.
When ready, I drill a hole in the bottom part of the neck. A rope is inserted and then knotted; it cannot pass through the hole anymore. The head will hang from the rope, upside down.
Then I fill it up with PU foam for extra strength and to fix the rope.
The face is now painted with acrylic paint. I drop a bit of polyester in the eyes, to make them look like real eyes.
When this is finished, I cover most parts of the face and leave the tongue, mouth, neck and eyes open. Then shiny varnish is applied, to make the eyes, open neck, tongue and mouth look wet.
The long veins / muscles are made by pouring transparent rubber over red and blue colored ropes and strings.