Friday, October 30, 2009

Turkey Adventures Part 1

I just built another turkey, my third, and I think I'm finally starting to get the hang of this, but it took a while and some lessons from the first two.

The first turkey was built for "Hello Dolly." We had one fake turkey that we had ordered online, but did not have the budget to buy the second one we needed. The plan was to make a skin on the plastic turkey by painting on liquid latex with layers of cheesecloth in between coats of latex, then make a two part plaster mold of the turkey with this skin. After the mold was dried I took the plastic turkey out, removed it from the skin, fill the skin with great-stuff expanding foam (found in the red can at any hardware store) and place it back in the plaster mold. The idea was that the great-stuff would expand to fill the skin, but the plaster mold would prevent it from becoming misshapen.

I did all of this and the result was beautiful... the first day. When I came back the next day, I found that the great-stuff had shrunk back and my beautiful turkey turned into "Mr. Wrinkles." In an attempt to fix it, I pulled the skin away from the lump of great-stuff, made a hole in the skin and injected more great stuff into it until it looked like a turkey again... and then it shrunk again, and again and again.

 After days of trying to fix "Mr Wrinkles", I gave up. I peeled off the latex skin, and emptied another full can of great-stuff onto my great-stuff lump. I let it sit out for a day and then just carved a turkey out of the foam with a knife. It turned out well. I smoothed some Bondo onto the outside, sanded it smooth and painted it.

-I have much better luck with carving than casting and molding.
-Inside the latex skin the Great-Stuff can't cure in the air the way it is supposed to.
-Always check a small sample of your plaster-of-paris before using it for a whole mold, if it is bad and won't fully harden, you don't want to have to remake a entire mold.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Jesse. I am currently directing a production that calls for a lot of drinking and eating. I am trying to figure out how to make a cake that gets frosted on stage everynight and has but one bite taken out of it, beans thrown at the set (the designer is having a fit), edible stuffed mushrooms and scotch, wine and whiskey being conusmed in mass quantities. Also, would ice made from melted glass beads pose any health threats to the actors? Please help!