After I crafted my Wolf Skull Mask, I had a number of other requests for skulls, and a raven was asked about the most! Seeing as I love ravens (and corvids in general), I was definitely willing to make that my next project.
Here’s the sculpture, done in oil-based clay (Monster Clay). Bird skulls tend to be fairly simple on the exterior, with large openings for the eyes and nostrils, and many delicate bone structures underneath. I tried to capture as much detail as I could when making the sculpt, and added in several areas where the mask is simply open, making it both delicate looking (it’s quite sturdy) and very well ventilated too!
I made my mold as per usual, with layers of brushed on silicone rubber (Rebound 25) and a mold jacket made from lightweight epoxy putty (FreeForm Air) – but when I went to cast it the first time, I realized I had made some mistakes that caused it to be a very difficult mold to work with.
Luckily, the molding process means that the original sculpture is left almost completely intact, and I was able to fix it up and make some adjustments so I could make a second, far better mold! You can see both molds side-by-side above. The one on the right is the original.
I thought I could get away with leaving the beak area open, but if you’re familiar with rotocasting, you’ve probably already realized what happened. It became practically a pour-spout and let material spill right out the end of the mold. In addition, I didn’t make the rim around the edge of the mask nearly deep enough. I thought about trying to make adjustments to the original mold, but it was just simpler in the end to make a new one.
Here are a couple more views of how the final resin-cast mask came out!