Several different mediums were used in this project, beginning with paper mache over a wire armature. Subsequent layers of salt clay and paper clay were added. Finally, a coat of white paint was followed by three or four colors of spray paint - applied VERY lightly - giving the piece some depth and contrast.
The slow process of building the final shape one thin layer at a time helped compensate for my limited skill and experience. More than once I set this piece aside for several weeks while plans for the next step bubbled away on my mental back burner.
On a limited budget, I filled and shaped the inner throat using home made salt clay. As the clay dried, it shrunk significantly - creating deep cracks resembling the surface of a dry lake bed. I was terribly disappointed at first - but quickly decided the cracks looked more interesting than anything I could have tried to do on purpose. The teeth were cut from polymer clay and baked before being glued in place.
Stuff I learned: Dental instruments RULE as sculpture tools and are super cheap. Also, using spray paint outdoors when there is a breeze will result in permanent colorful speckles on the siding of your house.
Reason for the project: A close friend who struggles with addiction overdosed and spent a week in the I.C.U. Although gravely ill and near death for several days, he has no memory of the incident or its aftermath.
Those of us who love him will never forget it.
It was important to me that he know how terrifying his experience looked to those of us who watched him go through it.