The Grinch Sculpt

Seussical the Musical
stage, 2010
Curtain Call Performing Arts
Directed by Catherine Heck
Lisser Theatre, Mills College, Oakland, CA
roma plastilina sculpted on ultra cal 30 lifecast

The design for the Grinch prosthetic was inspired by Dr. Seuss' original 1957 book cover, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!"  I have always admired the simplicity and sketch like quality of his illustrations and am aiming to emulate those characteristics with the sculpt.

Original Lifecast of         actor, Eric Jepsen                           Establishing a rough 
                                   shape for the nose 

I sometimes have difficulty looking past "the blob," so to keep myself engaged I sketch out some detailing before building the three demential characteristics.  This also allows me to play around with different configurations without jeopardizing the structure of the sculpt.  Once I feel I have captured the character's "essence," I then build upon the sketched lines.
Dr. Seuss' illustrations are so beautifully simplistic that it takes little nuance to transform a blob of clay into a recognizable character.  I was ready to call it a night...content with what I had accomplished that evening, but yet not completely satisfied...something was missing.  So I took a small blob of clay and placed it where the Grinch's nose should be.  Presto! a character was beginning to emerge.

My focus the following day was to fine tune the the overall shape.  Sculpting is a very organic process, and with that comes uneven surfaces.  A racking tool counteracts the "man made" qualities, such as fingerprints, by producing crosshatches, which are then smoothed out with a brush.  


  1. Thanks...I actually have the prosthetic available in my Etsy Shop. Check it out.