When last we left our lamb, I had given it a “meat pocket” to experiment filling with fake meat that the actors could eat on stage. The prop master (Matt Hodges) and the chef figured out what they wanted, so I had the go-ahead to carve out the rest of the pockets. The main one was going to be the ribcage: Matt had some fake rib bones that would be covered with meat. The actors would rib nearly the entire rib cage out and break it apart one by one.
As I mentioned in the last post, the silicone rubber peels right away from the foam body.
I carved away a lot of the foam, even making a hole through the body. The idea was to make the lamb appear like it would at the end of a meal; the fake meat would fill it in. I also wanted to put some contrast in the color, as the outside would have crispy, seasoned skin while the inside would be just fat and muscle.
The lamb needed a tongue. I decided I would carve one, mold it, and cast it directly out of Dragon Skin.
I cut it out of a scrap piece of MDF and carved it down as quickly as I could. I tried to add some taste buds and texture too by hitting it with pointy things. I took a piece of Kleen Klay, shoved the tongue inside and pulled it out. The Kleen Klay liked that. A lot of oil-based clays contain sulfur, which keeps silicone rubber from curing, which is not conducive to casting pieces in it. Kleen Klay is one of the types that is sulfur-free.
I don’t think you’ll find this method in Thurston James’ book on molding and casting, but it served my purposes fine; namely, I had poured a batch of silicone rubber within twenty minutes of starting the whole process.
After a little over 75 minutes, I broke the clay mold open and removed the tongue. None of the clay stuck to it, but I could tell it was still a bit tacky on the outside. Not to worry; the instruction booklet says that might happen occasionally. The solution is to let it sit out and cure in the air for a few minutes. If it remains tacky after a long enough time, you have to remove that layer; in this case, I was lucky and the rubber cured fully on its own. And I got some tongue!
That’s pretty much the end of the process. I added more thin coats to color and tint the lamb until it matched the research. There was one more meat pocket in the back leg; I carved it to look like it was eaten to the bone.
You can see it more clearly in the closeup below.
So there you have it: an easy-to-clean fake dead lamb with the ability to fill it with fake food for actors to eat on stage. As I mentioned earlier, now I know how to improve on my process for the next time I need to make a fake dead lamb.