I'm often asked where my inspiration comes from for our original masks, so in this blog I will share the creative journey I went on as a sculptor and creature designer to bring this handsome fiery beast, our devil silicone mask, Baeldorfyr the demon fire lord, from my imagination to sculpt to finished piece.
The devil goes by many names
Devil masks are always a hugely popular choice for Halloween, and I've been looking forward to sculpting my own for some time. The challenge I faced here was to design a creature that is eye-catching and unique when there are already legions of tv shows, books, and films featuring demons, some of which like Tim Curry's 'Darkness' from Legend are hugely iconic.
I started by thinking about the name. The devil goes by many names - demon, evil spirit, fallen angel, the hound of hell - and each can potentially suggest a particular type of character and look. I was fascinated with the idea of a truly ancient beast but one who is still smoldering from being forged from fire.
I also liked the idea of a regal-looking demon, one who you could costume with stylishly if you want but who pushed the creature aspect beyond what you see with something like Netflix's 'Lucifer', who is utterly fantastic but very human in his anatomy.
I'm a big Lord of the Rings fan and so I raided the Old English words that Tolkien himself would have drawn inspiration from when writing his epic works. "Bealdor" means Lord, "fyr" means fire, so I put them together and switched some letters around to make him unique, giving us Baeldorfyr, which literally means fire lord.
Anatomy of a demon
For the sculpt, the direction I wanted to go in meant moving away from human anatomy as much as possible whilst still keeping key features like the eyes and mouth in the right place for a wearable mask. I gave him a strong jawline ending in a very pointed chin, very strong triangular cheekbones and a heavy, resting sneer across the brow. I also went very creaturely with his nose which is bat-like.
The shape of flames, the texture of volcanoes
One of the fun and challenging things I love about sculpting is pushing a concept as far as possible to see where it goes. I really wanted this demon mask to echo the curved lines of flames and so I sculpted this into his larger forms, like his ears and chin, and also into his smaller forms like the curves along his jawline.
To complement the curved forms, I decided to avoid a hyper-realistic human skin texture. Instead, I went with something that resembles scarred and cracked volcanic rock. Settling on the exact texture was something I spent a long time thinking about and experimenting with.
The Greek island of Crete saw volcanic activity long before human civilisation arrived. Because of this you see a lot of pumice stone for sale in the shops and scattered around on its rocky beaches. Pumice is a light-colored, extremely porous type of rock that forms during explosive volcanic eruptions.
During a summer holiday, I sat on the beach in Crete fiddling with a piece of pumice, pondering where to go with Baeldorfyr's skin texture. I realised the answer was sitting right there in my hand! I brought some pumice back from Crete and used it as a tool to help with the texturing. So, when I say Baeldorfyr is born from fire, he really is!
The rough and the smooth
I brought some contrast to the sculpt by making his resin horns very smooth, like polished stone. I liked the idea of the sculpt representing Baeldorfyr's moment of coming into being so to suggest this I added horns running up the back and top of his head. These horns decrease in size, with the smaller ones looking like they have recently broken through his skin.
I love every part of the process of designing and making creature silicone masks, and designing the paint finish is really fun. To match the idea of the mask showing Baeldorfyr's moment of coming into devilish being, I thought his skin should look like glowing molten lava. This meant quite a complicated layering of different paint from yellows to oranges through to black. To make him really pop I also added some pigment that glows under ultraviolet light.
Demon silicone mask movement video
Here's the mask movement video of Baeldorfyr which gives you a 360 -degree view of the mask. I can't wait to see how my fantastically creative customers start putting their costumes together with this mask. The devil never rests...