Silicone skin puppets Posted by pagestep007 on Oct 18, 2012
Hi everyone, I have decided to let you all in on a method I have found, similar to the latex on foam, puppet type construction, but using Silicone instead of latex.

happy creating guys.
Re: Silicone skin puppets Posted by jeezbo on Oct 19, 2012
Sounds great, but there doesnt appear to be anything there, its just a big blank box!!
Re: Silicone skin puppets Posted by jeezbo on Oct 19, 2012
I apologise for my previous post, i had tried a few times to reload the page, but nothing, and then on my fourth try it was all there!! probably just my computer being awkward!!
thank you for sharing this method with us, i really love and i can see quite a few application in my own puppet building that would work really well, for example- some lovey big, juicy lips on a female puppet, or a moist looking tongue on a goofy looking monster/alien, maybe even some antennae on a creepy looking bug puppet, etc..... there are so many things running thru my head right now  and the best thing is, THERE ARE NO SPECIALISED PRODUCTS!!! all the things can be found in your local hardware store!!
the skin looks to be very flexible and i guess it must be fairly hard wearing seeing that it is plumbers silicone and i must admit, Ive got tons of the stuff lining my shower and bath and its still as rubbery and flexible as it ever was, so it means that the puppet will probably last quite long!!
Thank you again, I'm off now to have a go myself!!
Puppet hugs 
Re: Silicone skin puppets Posted by Shawn on Oct 19, 2012
Video worked for me. Love the puppet worms! Very comprehensive video. Looks like powdered colorants would be the best way to go but nice to know that you can use water based acrylics. So since is it water activated, what would you use if you wanted to thin you silicon? Just thinking it may be easier to work with. Then a brush might be able to be used to apply it to the foam.

I have to say that the hardware store is truly the puppet builders friend. So many great materials, tools and stuff you can get there.
Re: Silicone skin puppets Posted by pagestep007 on Oct 19, 2012
I have just watched a tutorial or two on coloring silicone.
   There seems to be a craze growing called 'Decoden' which is Japanese for 'phone decorating'. ie: those silicone cellphone covers. Since nothing sticks to silicone except silicone, they decorate with silicone. This lends itself to using piping bags and decorating like a cake frosting, or casting elements to stick to the phone cover, with silicone. The tutorials I watched, the silicone the young gals use is the 'Alexplus' brand (obviously  in the US.of.A. I've not seen it here),It is white, and looks a lot more liquid than the caulking compound, and acrylic paint does not seem to make it go off, as the acrylic is not water, although you do thin it with water. I do not have any of these acrylic colors, so I can't confirm that. The young ladies store the silicone in plastic bags, and snip the corner of the bag to pipe it onto their piece. Using powder colors you can do that, and if the powders are dry, it keeps for a while. I have done that with good results.
  As far as thinning the silicone goes, Shawn... not possible (easily and cheaply anyway). That comes in the manufacturing. The hardness of the silicone depends on the length of the silicone chains on a molucular level. This is decided on in the manufacture of it by how much the molecules are broken apart, etc. Silicone oils are the same stuff basically but really soft, and you can get right up to solid non flexible silicone (it's basically silica sand remember). The two part silicones , and thinning silicones, as well as silicone paints I think are manufactured so that a slightly different chemical process happens in the curing, with different byproducts. The cualking compound and food and medical grade silicones (think I'm right there) are designed to byproduct acetic acid, as it is not harmful. The other curing processes produce other stuff, which may not be as safe. One non silicone alternative I tried  has arsenic in it  .....the caulking silicone is  pretty safe I believe.
   So.. for the sake of cost and easy access to the product, you have to put up with the coloring problem,and hence the quick curing time, and a fixed solidity due to the predetermined  molecular chain length, and you have to develop ways of using the stuff without going crazy. The thinness of the skin means it stays reasonably flexible though. The material has been around for quite a few years, but people are only just  starting to see what useful things they can do with it, on a hobby level.
Re: Silicone skin puppets Posted by pagestep007 on Oct 19, 2012
Jeezbo, great to see the creative juices flowing! Just what I was hoping for. Yes.. bug juicy lips.. yes that works well. I did a set. They look crazy. Another thing maybe for future tutorials is, coating cloth with silicone.. makes an intersting material.
  Theory says siliconen will last for ever, and stay flexible, but I have not had anything around long enough to prove it. What old showers I have dismantled or renovated, the silicone does seem to go a little stiffer and discolor a little, as in go slightly milky or brown... but definitely nowhere the deterioration of latex after similar timeframe. And yes.. NO specialized equipment, and it appears to be safe.
Be sure to let us see your new creations!
Re: Silicone skin puppets Posted by ArthurS on Oct 19, 2012
Very cool.  I still like the latex for the puppet itself (it seems more conducive to someone who is easily distracted...), but can see great applications for this method as well.
Re: Silicone skin puppets Posted by Andrew on Oct 19, 2012
This is a very cool idea, although I would suggest trying it with a professional platinum silicone, which would probably give you very good results. I also find that silicone is usually the best material to mold silicone in.

I started doing some silicone casting a few years ago and I really like using it as a puppet building material. Sooo much better than latex imho for most things.
Re: Silicone skin puppets Posted by Shawn on Oct 20, 2012
I thought silicone sticks to silicon. Wouldn't that make it tough to use as a mold for itself?
Re: Silicone skin puppets Posted by pagestep007 on Oct 20, 2012
Shawn, I was going to say the same   Andrew, it's good to see someone else on the same track. I like  your figures in your gallery. Do you have any other examples you could upload? Also how do you use the silicone as molds? Do you use a parting agent of some sort so it does not stick? The heads you have cast look good. Did you use a two part silicone? What is inside them? Looks like polistyrene...and how are you going to color them? That has been my biggest quest. ArthurS that is one thing Latex still wins, being able to get good smooth color gradients.I am still working on how to improve that with silicone. Andrew, what is Professional platinum silicone? What makes it different? I will have to see if they have it here... so many questions...

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