Since I've been playing around with some beaded art dolls (here and here), I decided to try making some face cabs to use with the dolls.
I used a mold because my talent in sculpting is at the elementary school level. Some of the faces are made with Creative Paperclay and some are made with Craft Porcelain.
Following the instructions on the mold, I dusted it with baby powder before pushing the clay in. The faces came out pretty well, considering that this was my first attempt. Another thing to use as a release is cornstarch. I'll try that next.
One issue I had was having the faces come out somewhat distorted in shape. I found that I could smush the face around a little to limit the distortion and, perhaps, to add artistic distinction. I let the faces dry 24 hours on a piece of waxed paper and then turned them face down to dry for another 24 hours.
When the faces were completely dry, I used sandpaper to smooth out some of the Paperclay faces. I learned I needed to be gentle--it sands very easily. I didn't try to sand the ones made of Craft Porcelain.
The next step was painting. I tried a variety of paints, and Lumiere was my favorite by far. It went on very, very smoothly and it covered very well. My second favorite was PRObrite paint. It is thicker than the Lumiere, and it covered very well. I put a second coat of a different color of paint on the faces the next day. In some cases, I rubbed a little of the wet second coat off to show the color underneath. To seal the face cabs, I used a water-based craft polyurethane on the front and the back.
I was surprised at how light these face cabs were. Right now I'm using one (not shown in the photo) on a little pink doll. It's quite easy to work with, and I'll continue to try to improve my technique.