A Dartford artist who makes everything from edible severed body parts to human face lamps has been gaining traction in the world of special effects.

Tracey Jane Bigginton, 48, is a special effects makeup artist who also creates hyper-realistic silicone props and practical effects for the film industry.

She works in her Dartford home studio in her garden but is considering getting somewhere larger as her career grows.

In the last seven months, she has worked on nine films with actors such as Laurence Harvey from the Human Centipede and Scream Queen Dani Thompson.News Shopper:

She has recently hosted two live makeup demonstrations at the film festivals in Brantford and South End, which is a first for these events.

Tracey told the News Shopper: “It is mostly just men that are in the special effects industry so to come through and get this attention for my work I feel quite proud of myself.

“I realise that people really like it and want to know what goes on behind the scenes.

“I’m happy to share my journey with others.”

Tracey had her first child at 19 and then trained as a nursery nurse so that she could take her son to work with her.

In time she went on to own her own children’s preschool for 11 years, which she left in 2011.

She now has three boys with the oldest now 30.

After spending six weeks in hospital with kidney stones in 2009, Tracey decided that she wanted a complete career change pursuing hair and beauty and later went into special effects.

Tracey then enrolled on a special effects makeup course at Northwest Kent College four years ago.

She said: “I think the most impressive thing I have done is the lamp.

“I did a casting of my stepfather's face and I sort of put three of his faces onto a lampshade and sewed it on.

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“That got me a lot of attention and someone high up in the industry has seen it and said they think it is amazing.”

Tracey can also make edible props and has previously made fingers and ears, along with a jelly brain for Halloween.

She said: “The reason that came around is we were filming a zombie film and they wanted someone to bite someone’s finger off and all I had at the time was soft silicon props.

“They just sort of screwed it up, put it in their mouth and then spat it out for an effect.

“I was thinking ‘do you know what I can do better than that’.”

Tracey went home and decided to test drive the edible fingers.

Using special silicone and a casting of her own fingers, she made a mould which she then filled with chocolate.

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“It all has to be vegan chocolate because Scream Queen Dani is a vegan, so you have to take that into account as well,” she explained.

She said that while her work is often included in horror films, sometimes props or SFX makeup is required for shows such as Holby City or “anything surrounding death really”.

Depending on the contract with the film, they either permanently purchase or rent the props.

She said: “In my front room I have a cabinet and my props are actually displayed on there, so there is a severed head and a severed hand.

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“My granddaughter’s foot is on there as well and on the table, I have the lamp with my step-father's face on it.

“I get a lot of different reactions; I had a tumble dryer delivered the other day.

“One bloke couldn’t get out the house fast enough and the other bloke loved it.”

She said she had always been creative and remembers making bookmarks with flowers from her Mum’s garden and selling them to the neighbours.

She used to do face painting for her children, the nursery and regularly at a local church.

She said: “It was always something that I had planned for when I had my own children.

“I was so young when I had my first child, but I always knew there would be something else later for me in my career.”

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