I saw the cutest little clay molds at Michaels this weekend. They had a variety of faces which got me thinking about gumpaste. I'm no artist so I'd have to take some short cuts rather than make faces on my own. However, most of these faces are not 3D and therefore do not have the back of the head incorporated in to the mold.
Does anyone else use these? If so, what are the tricks to make the faces in to 3D heads?
I don't know about the faces, but I use the clay molds all the time. They are way cheaper than the food ones. Just grease em with shortening and your ready to go!
I haven't used clay moulds but to make the 3d head you need to......make a ball of fondant/gumpaste and push it into the mould. You then need to smooth the back of the paste (that is sticking out of the mould) into a rounded head shape. When you take it out of the mould you should have a 3d face/head.
Hope this helps.
Oh heavens *YES!!!!*
The trick is to very lightly dust the mold w/cornstarch; push in a ball of fondant making sure it is well packed; level the bottom. Slightly wet your thumb & finger w/some gumglue and pinch them together until tacky, then use that to pull the face out. It's a fine line to that tacky stage. Just the right mixture of gp & water, then letting it dry a bit.
This came up a couple of years ago.
A few CCers contacted Sculpey who said the molds hadn't been tested by the FDA and could not be considered food safe. They recommended using the molds for pieces that were not going to be eaten or were separated by the cake in some way.
Here's the link to the post, it gets a little heated... http://forum.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=26600&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=sculpey&&start=15
This is something that each decorator must decide for themself, just like any other item we use on cakes that has not been tested - contact paper, foam rollers, lustre dusts/chalk, etc.
Just an FYI - Globalsugarart sells silicone face molds, as well as arms/legs.
I use molds such as the following for faces (this does the torso and the back of the head also - you don't really need to worry about the back of the head because it will be covered with hair, hats, etc...):
I don't put cornstarch in the mold as I found this distorts the fine details. I use a brush to lightly grease with crisco. Create a 'sausage' about the size of the mold and dust this with cornstarch. Stick a floral wire into the sausage and insert into the mold (making sure the face is pressed in well so no air bubbles). Put the back of the mold on, remove the front so the face stays shaped, and use the floral wire to pull out the figure.
Here is a picture of how the face turned out on this one:
http://www.smsweets.com/cakelady/betsy_ross.jpg (excuse her right eyebrow - it needs some touch up!)