Friday, April 26, 2019

Slammin' Ham! - FFFriday Guest Post from Victoria Ross

After a brief and accidental hiatus, guest Fake Food Friday's are back, and it's back with a bang or rather, a slam!  This excellent ham is courtesy of Victoria Ross at Triad Stage and was mentioned on Silk Flowers and Papier Mache Hearts in Episode 37 - Skin of A Dragon. This post is also a return to casting and molding, which we haven't had in ages.  

Raw, Bloody Ham - Two Trains Running at Triad Stage 2019
What a glamour shot... or should I say hamour shot?

Materials: Smooth-On DragonSkinVaseline, mineral spirits, Smooth-On Silc Pig, Smooth-On Psycho Paint, leftover silicone (for filler)
Tools: ham mold, mixing containers, stir sticks, Personal Protective Equipment
Safety Note: Though DragonSkin is Certified Skin Safe, always read the Technical Bulletin for any casting and molding materials before you use them, and follow common sense safety procedures.

Step One: Procuring a Ham Mold

The mold was created for a previous production molded off of a real ham, and it was originally intended for expanding foam. Since I would be casting in silicone, I needed mold release. I made my own release from vaseline and mineral spirits, which worked like a charm! To limit the volume of Smooth-On Dragon Skin needed, I filled the core of the ham with a silicone 'pit' -- a pink chunk left over from past materials (we save everything for this exact reason). I secured the two-part mold with ratchet straps, cradled it in upholstery foam scraps within a box, mixed my parts and began to pour.

Step Two: Washing a Ham

Our ham was cast from Dragon Skin tinted with Smooth-On Silc Pig pigments. I made the rubber a fleshy hue with subtle white and red streaks to provide a 'base coat' of color.
I washed the mold release off the ham to prepare it for painting.

Step Three: Painting a Ham

Painting with tinted rubber is a blast! I used Smooth-On (are they a sponsor yet?) two-part Psycho Paint with the Silc Pig pigments to create my pallet of pinky flesh, reddish brown blood, and white fat marble. I based my highlights and shadows from a research image, and I used popsicle sticks and my fingers to paint the rubber paint onto the ham.

Step Four: Slamming a Ham

Once the ham was dry and all silicone paint had bonded to itself, I gave the ham a thorough bath and handed it off to stage management. The ham interacts with stage blood on the actors hands, so having it be washable was a must. It also is slammed on the counter, and the weight and slap of rubber makes the effect truly deliver. The lighting designer even gave the ham its own spot light - a most appropriate lighting for a ham, after all.

What a gorgeous ham and epic lighting!  Thank you Victoria for sharing.  You can check out more of Victoria's projects at

And no ham post is complete without one of my favorite gifs of all time: 


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