Monday, 19 November 2012

Experimenting with teeth

This time, instead of eyes, I’m mucking about with teeth.  This one is a human molar made with polymer clay.  It has a little hole drilled through it so it can be put on a string.


 
In general I’m not a big fan of using polymer clay to make teeth.  Polymer clay on its own isn’t very strong or durable, so it’s not a great choice for teeth even though it is easy to get a nice shape and colour with it.
These teeth are made of paper mache.  They’re made by laminating about thirty-odd sheets of tissue together with glue, and they dry like concrete.  However, you get a certain amount of shrinkage and they’d need to be really aggressively sanded and carefully painted before I could get a result I would be happy with.  As you can see, the surface is very irregular – this is because of uneven shrinkage as they dried and there’s no way round that.  I don’t like this and frankly I can’t be bothered spending an afternoon sanding these things.  I have a shortcut.

 
What I’m going to do is wrap the teeth in a thin layer of translucent polymer clay and bake them.  As I’ve discussed before, you can bake paper with polymer clay without encountering any problems because the temperatures needed to bake polymer clays are well below the combustion point of paper.

Here they are after baking.  Yes, they are saber tooth cat teeth.  Why do you ask?


To be exact, they're homotherium teeth.  Homotherium was one of the more successful saber tooths.  It survived for around 5 milion years, during which time it colonised Eurasia, Africa and the Americas.