All words and pictures Andy Bergholtz.
First, I warm up the Castilene in a microwave and work it in my hands like clay, applying the warm Castilene to the sculpture (Fig. 1)
After I achieve the basic form using just my fingers, I’ll then heat my sculpting tool and smooth the surface (Fig. 2, Fig. 3)
I will continue to heat the tool during this process every few seconds, holding the tool very briefly over the flame. I will continue to refine the surface with this tool until I get a basic flow of detail that I like (Fig. 4, Fig. 5)
Next, I will gently heat a small loop tool over a flame (Fig. 6), and will use this to carve some deeper detail into the form (Fig. 7). I will do this briefly, just to add a bit more depth to the form (Fig. 8)
Next, I will very briefly heat a sanding pad over the flame (Fig. 9), and use this to smooth the surface a bit (Fig. 10).
For this stage, you must heat the pad over the flame for only a half-second or so each time, VERY quickly or else it will begin to burn. You’ll need to do this every 3-4 seconds while you work, and lightly drag the heated pad on the surface of the Castilene to smooth it. It sounds tricky, but it’s quite simple. I’ll do this until the hair is generally smoothed and ready to begin detailing (Fig. 11).
For detailing, I heat my metal tool over the flame once again (very very quickly this time, only to warm it up a little… you don’t want it to be too hot, only warm enough so it doesn’t “stick” to the Castilene). Then I will use the edge of the tool to “press and roll” detail into the surface of the Castilene (Fig. 12)
This “press and roll” method is the most important step in my detailing technique. I will continue doing this until I’ve achieved the level of detail that I want (I try to avoid dragging or ‘scribing’ detail in this stage, as that is what often causes the unwanted “crumb effect”). For smaller curves, I will use a smaller tool and even a round loop tool sometimes, but the “press and roll” method still applies (Fig. 13, 14, 15)
Finally, sometimes I will lightly brush down the surface with lighter fluid (Fig. 16). I do this VERY little, as using too much will make the surface grainy and mushy, so use it sparingly (Fig. 17)
Just make sure to only brush lighter fluid on Castilene when you are completely finished with the sculpting, as it’s very difficult to re-sculpt any area that has already been brushed. The hair is finished! (Fig. 18)