Now that is unusual


In my workshop I get used to being asked to make unusual things, as a heritage craftsmen I meet a wide selection of interesting folk all of whom need interesting things made which they cant get anywhere else.

If you look back through my earlier posts you can see the kind of projects I tackle. My family are used to it. My dearly beloved didn’t bat an eyelid when I brought a full size working Combine Harvester on ebay (its a long story), after all this is a man that made the mechanism for a horse powered ice cream machine for one customer and seriously discussed a moving greenhouse on rails for another, a project which I suspect will come to fruition soon. Family frequently report back that they are asked “so what is it your dad / husband is making now?” which is closely followed by the response “that’s unusual”

However my latest commission has left them all slightly taken aback, and talking about it in hushed tones. As I have mentioned previously I do have theatrical connections one of which is a company called Theatre Secrets who work in the area of Theatre and Film effects makeup. Apparently there is a shortage of silicon Nipple Covers in a particular style needed by Body Painters, and Burlesque performers, a shortage they would like to satisfy. My part has been to make the original moulds. Its been an interesting process, which has required me to quickly learn the basics of silicon and foam latex moulding, techniques and materials I can see me using again, whilst at the same time have conversations about the size and shape of nipples, something as a wood turner I didn’t think would ever happen.

Along the way I have discovered the secret world of body casting, and if that’s your thing good luck to you, its a tough job but someone has too do it, and last Friday spent the day at a trade show for the horror industry, where amongst other incredible things was a stall selling latex versions of realistic body parts. Its certainly been an eye opener

But back to the nipple covers. I have tried a number of techniques, modelling in clay, casting with Alginate, Plaster, and Silicon, and the final version which was to turn a negative in wood, from which I then cast a Plaster of Paris Positive, which leads on to the production moulds in Silicon. I then handed the moulds  over to Theatre Secrets  who will manufacture the nipple covers, unleashing them to an unsuspecting public in a couple of weeks at a Professional Makeup show in London.

Normal service will soon be returned, I have some bed frames to make next, and the reply to ” what’s your dad making now” will go back too just “that’s unusual”, as opposed to “now that is unusual”

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