All, Muertitas

Process Photos for “Spring From Death” Sisters!

Muertita Process for Spring 2014
Concept: Spring from Death

This post is for two reasons:
1.) To share my process because I love to see others share theirs. Seeing process is what got me believing I could do this in the first place.
2.) To show that my casting does not mean “mass production”. Each piece is still unique, and unlike any other. Resin casting will make these pieces less fragile, more archival, capture higher detail, and allow me to use materials closer to my concepts of these characters. This is different from sculpting each one individually with clay, though that will still happen from time to time when the concept and materials call for it.

I don’t make a ton of these, and I don’t make the same one twice. If you want to know when new Muertitas are available for purchase, you can sign up for my mailing list here.

Now for the process!

To show you the start of Momma Muertita #2, you can see my hilarious foil, wire, and baked eyeballs as my base! 

Just a few #process #muertita photos. Start: wire, foil, wood. Followed by #supersculpy.

Super-sculpey warms to body temperature to become soft and workable. However, if you have cold hands like me, you are gonna have a hard time. My husband devised this excellent way of keeping my sculpey warm and ready for my chilly, industrious fingers.

#supersculpy should come with the disclaimer: if you have naturally cold hands, you're gonna have a #hard time.

Close-up of some of the detailing I am able to do now that I’m making Momma Muertita #2 out of Super-sculpey. My past ladies were individually crafted out of air-drying clay, which made them very fragile, and not take this kind of detail as well. True, it takes me much longer to make her look like this, but if I can get a good mold going, I might be able to get a few daughters looking mighty spiffy!

Momma #muertita 2 detailing. Practicing texture techniques  from the #sculpting master @mattl21

Making the antlers out of wire, foil, and Super-sculpey! My past attempts broke in their mold AND the antlers…a few times. Also, the molds were a huge failure as well. I hope this new mold holds steady this time with these new, bigger antlers…
Some #process photos of #muertita antlers using wire, foil, and #supersculpy

Setting up the mold for casting my Muertitas with the talented special effect guru, Brian Blair. Check out those “key” holes around my antlers. This better work this time. Please oh please!
#Muertita casting setup with the talented (and patient) special effects guru Brian Blair. So much learning!

Went shopping and stocked up on flowers for my ladies! Just need to finish my mold, cast them successfully, and decorate!
All stocked up on flowers for my ladies! AKA the #muertita #sculptures

Head boards arrived! Just need stain and to mount the heads…once the paint is applied.
The wood boards arrived for my #muertitas! Weekend of sculpting and molds and casting is ahead of me!

Who needs a workout when you can build those arms with a slush mold? I hand tumble a thick layer or two on there, pack in some air at select locations to limit weight, then solid cast the rest.
My workouts these days. Started with a hand tumbled hollow cast, moving onto solid. #muertita #art #process

SUCCESS! The mold works! The joy! I sat cradling this firstborn for a while before I continued my next steps. I have to treasure the wins. So many thanks to Brian Blair for showing me the molding ropes and saving me even more trial and error.
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After a few tests, I got to my final goal for these ladies: custom color mixing the resin itself by adding dyes and mixes of iridescent powders. This creates a basecoat that will peek through my acrylic paints and add a dewey iridescence where the paint is thinned.
Someone would like to say hello. She doesn't gave her face on yet, all natural ;) #muertita #casting #process

I LOVE mixing custom colors for my resins! I get such satisfaction from this step. It creates such a great base-coat and adds richness to my paint layers.
More muertita process

Time to dremel and smooth out edges and seams. No good lightning yet in the outdoor shed, but at least the pulverized resin only gets on me out there. Besides, headlamps are cool … ish … Well…PRACTICAL.
More muertita process

Time for hair, makeup, sealant, and mounting on wood.
#Muertita got her hair and make  up did. ;) will be an email soon about shows and available muertitas. Make sure you're on the list http://krisztianna.us4.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=fee4f084b60e7eafe438b9fa9&id=011f636e88

Transport, set-up, hang out and photoshoot with the amazing Chris Rigg.
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Ta da!
Spring From Death

* * *

Special thanks goes to Matthew J. Levin (sculpy mastah) and Brian Blair (casting guru) for their patience and time while my noobness spilled out. Oh, and of course, thank you Internet for the vast knowledge shared upon your bandwidth. May your loa be strong.

Also, a big thanks to Miss Monster. She doesn’t know who I am, but her process posts made the craft of sculpting and mold making feel like an adventure I wanted to be on. Plus her creations are faaaaaaaantastic!

*  *  *

Obligatory cute kitty share. I turn the floor heater on when working into the wee hours of the morning, and the kitties join me. Nocturnal friends FTW.
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5 thoughts on “Process Photos for “Spring From Death” Sisters!”

  1. Thanks for sharing, Krisztianna! So is there much of a difference in weight from Sculpey to solid resin heads? Or does it come out about the same?

    1. Heya Tim! Thanks for the comment 🙂
      Because I try to build my sculpy thin for the Momma, in layers on foil and wire, it is very light. The resin casting of her daughters’ walls can be 2 inches thick in the face, with some hollow spots wedged in the neck and cheeks, and then solid where it reaches the base for stability and weight balance. This makes them 4-6 pounds heavier than their Momma. Still much lighter than solid clay or plaster!
      Total weight with horns and flowers – Not sure, haven’t weighed them finished yet!

      1. Also, I just realized I’ve been spelling “Sculpey” wrong for months. Welp. There ya go! Thanks for writing it proper! I must amend my ways!

  2. Awesomes. I figured that there would be a considerable weight difference. Not to mention that I’m sure it’ll be little bit less scary having to ship them somewhere. Cracking will be much less of a concern than in the Sculpey versions. I’m sure if you get brazen enough to try a slush cast in the future the weight would go way down too. Thanks for sharing the photos. I’m familiar with the whole process but I love seeing the different ways that people tackle it.

    1. I have so many plans for slush casting! {Knowing glance} Once internal rigging, wall mounting, and other secret plans are solved, I shall be slushing away. ❤

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