Sunday, February 16, 2014

SCULPTURE: "Old Man Warren"

Since I am not quite ready to post about a sculpture I am currently working on, I thought it would be fun to show you an odd little piece I made back in 1994...20 years ago!!!

You might say I "made a new friend"...or an OLD one!  You might also say I was "beside myself".  I made a PUPPET of OLD MAN WARREN. (Yes...this project was a little unusual...my family made me keep this guy in a bag in the basement, because it was deemed "too creepy".)
In 1994, I was a part of an in-house workshop sponsored by Hallmark Cards. We brought in a "Hollywood special effects make-up artist" (whose name I can not remember).  This process was very much like the make-up competition show "FACE OFF" on the SyFy Channel. We spent a week making these sculptures, then casting them in rubber.  Most folks in the workshop make cool alien versions of themselves.  I just made me look old.  (I guess it's because my favorite Muppet characters are the old guys in the balcony, "Statler and Waldorf".)

The first part of the process was to make a "life mask" of our faces.  We used some kind of dental algenate that they use for making impressions of your teeth. So I decided to cast my face with my mouth open.  NOT an easy thing to do...especially when I only had tiny holes around my nose to breath through.  Then we made a "positive" of that mold with cement.

I don't have any photos of the process from that point on, unfortunately.  We had a styrofoam upper torso to apply plasticine clay to.  We made a casting of our faces out of clay to apply to the styrofoam "skull".  Then we spent about a week of sculpting to make our "characters". After the sculpture was done, we made a giant mold of concrete around the piece, divided in the middle.  We separated the mold, cleaned out the clay, then put the mold back together with straps.  Then we painted in liquid latex rubber, in layers, until it was about a 1/8th inch thick.

Then we made a large mixture of expanding foam rubber to pour into the mold.  I decided to make my piece a "puppet", and stuck my arm down into the foam, as it expanded.  So afterwards, I could make the mouth open and close.

I finished the detailing with a set of crooked teeth cast from my own teeth (then modified them to look older), added glass eyeballs, and poked in hair for eyebrows.  then I painted it to be more "flesh" colored with some special make-up.

Below are a few photos of our "20 Year Reunion" this afternoon!  Guess in 20 more years...I will look exactly like my puppet. Ha!


6 comments:

pedalpower said...

Warren, this is hysterical,and you are ageing WAY better than you predicted 20 years ago. Very cool project!

Warren said...

Thanks, Joyce...I'm glad you think so, on all counts. :)

Ron Wheeler said...

I ,too, am amazed at how much you look like yourself from twenty years ago. I also love the puppet. There are definitely some benefits to working at Hallmark. I'd love to be able to play around with the "toys" you get to play with.

Karen :) said...

This is SO cool! I think you need to bring him out in another 20 years and compare!

Cheri said...

Well, it's said everyone has a twin. Who'd have imagined yours was made of an anionic polysaccharide? Or that you were so impressionable!

Love the pics...

Judy Chauncey said...

Kinda' favors Kris too...