“Bob’s” Guest Blog: How to Make a Human Head Pie

Hello Everyone, I’m Bob and welcome to the Gory Gourmet props department! Now, when you’ve had a lousy day — your left hand chopped off, your sons murdered, your daughter raped, her tongue cut out, and both of her hands chopped off — well, the last thing you want to do is cook. Unless, of course, you cook the rapist and serve him to his mother at a dinner party! Come see The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] so Titus Andronicus and his daughter Lavinia can show you how!

Here are some of our behind the scenes photos to show you how we made our special Human Head Pie, and how you can make your very own!

First things first, get your supplies:

• Styrofoam mannequin head
• Clay (or other moldable medium)
• Pie plate (my was from the dollar store and is used exclusively for crafting)
• Brown paper grocery bags (crumpled then opened until it achieves a soft tissue-like texture, be sure to rip it up and not cut to maintain its integrity)
• Carpenter’s wood glue
• Water
• Petroleum jelly
• Paint (of your choice, I like oil)
• Paint brushes

Now to make our prop!

I like to use a Styrofoam mannequin head as my base to then mold natural clay over it to make my initial image that will eventually become my prop.

Next, I’ll papier-mache over it using brown grocery bags, carpenter’s wood glue, and a pinch of water. Make sure you have a release agent like petroleum jelly. When used correctly you should be able to use the clay and glue again in many more projects to make lots and lots of props!

As you can see I lost some of my details, this happened because my glue mixture was too thick and since I didn’t have any petroleum jelly I used wet paper towels instead. The ideal scenario would be to use petroleum jelly and a wood glue mixture with a ratio of ¾ wood glue ¼ water, mix well.

Let dry. Repeat two more times for a total of 3 layers of papier-mache.

Once your project is completely dry then you can remove it from the clay model. Your clay should still be moist and good for another project. Put it in an airtight container and set aside for another time.

Allow for the inside to dry completely.

Now you’re ready to paint!

What I did was used some of my oil paint using just the red, blue, yellow, and white paint; all the colors I would need to go for a flesh tent. This combo would result in a dark tint that I would lighten using white and yellow until achieving the desired tone (a slightly fleshy, but also pie crust look)

Add little details, like high and low lights then some burnt sienna for the dried/cooked blood

Stitch the eyes shut (using string and hot glue). Because I want it to read on stage we aren’t going with the realistic red stained string. The white will be fine and people will be more likely to see it.

Then add some ladyfingers for dessert!

Congratulations! You’ve made your very own Evil Rapist Human Head Pie!

Don’t forget to join us for our production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] so you can see Titus Andronicus and the rest of Shakespeare’s meaty body of work!

-Bob

Bob is one of our trusty stage managers, Teah Banks, who in addition to those duties is also pretty handy with prop design and construction. Wave to her as you pass the booth when you visit us at the show, which opens on Fri., Mar. 15. Special preview performances will be held Mar. 13 and 14, with all seats priced at just $18.

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