replacement heads

Here is a side project I am working on. I am trying to figure out a way to make decent replacement heads. Here is what I have so far. First I sculpted a head in neutral position out of plasticine clay. In the photo below it is the brown one.  From that I made a two part silicone rubber mold. Into this mold I poured melted van aken clay and then let it cool. Once cool, I popped out the head and poured another one. I made 7 or 8. Those are the red ones below.



I took each red head copy and sculpted it into a new expression, sad, happy, etc. From each of those new expressions I now have to form a new two part mold so I can pour plaster into. When that is done I have a hard head in “sad” expression. Each head needs a new mold so I can make a plaster head. One thing I did to save on silicone rubber and moldmaking is to make a mold for the back of the head which never changes and always use that and just make a new face half mold.


The blue mold half is the back of the head, I reuse this one over and over and just make a new face half for the different expressions.


It is not a perfect system but I am working it out. I think I will take all the finished plaster heads  when they are done and make a holder that will hold them all in the same position and I will drill a hole for a rod or brass tube that will slide over the puppet’s neck so they all align.

6 responses to “replacement heads

  1. Really clever system, John!


  2. Your system is almost identical to one that was used on a Pillsbury Dough Boy commercial I worked on. The only difference being that Ralph Cordero placed square brass tube into the mold so that each new head would register exactly the same way when set in place on the armature post sticking out of the neck of the body. But your plan sounds like it will work just as well!


  3. Neat o man!!

    great post.



  4. Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

    Don’t pay for your electricity any longer…
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  5. Hallo!
    From time to time I had a look at your blog and I must say that you’re doing the thing pretty well and proper! That’s exactly how I like to reade tutorials! Thanks!


  6. a really great idea with the silicone mold – and a well written tutorial. This is serious business, impressive. Well written, well executed, good looking results. Man, I’m learning quite a lot here from you. Thank you so very much !


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