Sculpting the stars
A day in the life of a Madame Tussauds moulder
We go behind the scenes at Madame Tussauds
With 5 years’ experience at Madame Tussauds, Louise Budryk has worked on some of its most iconic wax figures. As a moulder, she uses the sculptures created from the hundreds of measurements and photographs taken at the sitting to build a mould. That’s then transformed into the final, solid wax figure.
Here Louise is working on the head mould of Sean Connery. “The head sculpture itself takes around six weeks to make, and it’s made 2% larger than the real life size, because wax shrinks a little when it cools.”
Making a head mould is a full day’s work, so Louise gets to the workshop early, at 7am. “I start by making the mould’s clay walls. Then I uncover the head sculpture from its clingfilm and cloth wrapping, and start to wall up the ears. I fill them with plaster and use the time they take to set to go and grab some breakfast!”
Afterwards, Louise works on the head’s two sides, which she also walls up and fills with plaster. This process is repeated all morning until Louise has a ‘halo’ – a six piece structure holding everything together.
“After lunch, I wall up and fill in the back of the head and the chin, and I do the first front piece, which will end up inside the jacket. All in all, head moulding is a full-on, physical day, but there’s always loads of banter – it’s very lively, and no two days are ever the same. I love it!”