How to Make Theater Props : Fake Severed Head (Part 1)

A few months back, my friends at Tightrope Theatre in Portland asked if I could help them do a couple of things for their show, “The Happy Family”–build some stairs for the stage, and make a prop head to represent one of the live characters at some point in their, um, life.

The Prop Head Sculpt in Clay

The Prop Head Sculpt in Clay

Well, from my days as a scenic carpenter, I could build the 3 stair units (perhaps I’ll do a Make It post on that someday) no prob, but I have to admit to never having made a severed head before.  Plus, it needed to be kept in a pot with stage blood, and be dropped onto the set every night (with the thud sound appropriate to a head–yuck!)

Two Part Plaster of Paris Mold

Two Part Plaster of Paris Mold

So, I began pondering this with my props partner, and “Happy Family” director, James Peck, and we opted to sculpt a head, cover it with Plaster of Paris on both sides to make a two-part plaster mold, then I was going to use some of my handy-dandy Smooth-on Flexi-Foam to fill each side, then sandwich the two part mold together and “glue” it all together with more flexifoam.

First Half of Smooth On Foam Head for Theatre Prop

First Half of Smooth On Foam Head for Theatre Proplexi-foam.

Continued on Part 2 =>

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Jason Sipe Jason Sipe (68 Posts)

Jason Sipe is an artist, craftsman and writer. He has spent the last 20 years working in the art and media fields. He now turns to this blog and helping others learn about creating art as his main focus.