Once the clay head is ready we build plaster moulds in the mould shop that enable us to transform the sculpted clay head into a wax head.
New pieces of clay are rolled flat and cut into small sections; 12mm thick, 1 inch wide and in a variety of different lengths. The sections of clay are used to build walls around the head.
The clay walls divide the head into areas. For example, we build a clay wall around each ear, a wall around each eye, the forehead becomes its own section and so on. Gradually we fill each section with plaster and allow it to set.
Once all of the sections are filled with plaster the whole mould is soaked in warm water. This allows the clay to swell and helps us to remove each piece of the mould, the plaster puzzle!
When the mould is complete, the clay head is no longer needed. The clay heads are dried out and often smashed to pieces before ending up in the bin (which as you can imagine can be incredibly heart breaking after all that work!).
We then look at each section of the mould and where necessary carve back in the teeth, nostrils and eyes.
Next week, we'll tell you what we do with the mould to create our amazing wax heads.