Sunday, July 31, 2016

Making a Shrunken Head

Artist David Gagné returns to our pages with a start to finish tutorial on crafting a traditional sideshow tsanta or shrunken head.

His YouTube videos detail everything involved with making the prop come to life.  The first video covers sculpting the master in clay.  The second the creation of a plaster mold and casting copies using liquid latex.  The final video features paint, hair, and final surface finishing.  The series as a whole is the most detailed gaff tutorial I've ever seen.

The one caveat I would add regards the use of ashes for dusting down the finished product.  Wood ashes are alkaline and over time could react with the latex or fibers of the hair.  I think colored grout powder is a better alternative.

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