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Posted by lamb43 (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 9, 02 at 14:33

Someone mentioned in the gallery something about masks. I've developed an attraction to them, too. My question is, how do you form them to a 'face' shape? Do you use a already made mask for your mold, or what? Mine have been wall hangings up to now, but I'm working on a Mardi Gras mask with beads and feathers, and would love to be able to wear it, or just to have a 3d piece.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Masks

I'm figuring you are talking about paper masks since you mentioned wall hangings. I have made paper faces from cotton linter pulp and molded them in large plastic faces. Have not tried any large faces from clay. Can also put vaseline on a human face and use a medium to shape their face. Not sure what type of plaster this is.....but there are numerous sites to study the technique.

RE: Masks

No, actually I'm talking about clay masks. There are some qorgeous mask stamps (rubber stamps) that inspired me, and rubber stamping works just as beautifully for clay as it does for paper. I'm reluctant to buy any new craft supplies right now, but after we move I'll check the local craft stores for masks.
Hmmm.. Now you have me thinking. Could I use paper mache (paper and glue) and the vaseline method you mentioned to make a mask form? Perhaps plastic wrap would be better than vaseline though for paper mache? I'm talking a 'half-face' mask, eyes and nose, not a full face mask.
I'll post an example in the gallery.

RE: Masks

I remember seeing Barbara McGuire making a mask on the Carol Duvall show. It's a full one but maybe it will help you.


Here is a link that might be useful: Polymer Clay Mask

Barbara McGuire Good Idea

I'll try a search later for a wearable mask mold. Love the wire idea of baking it in position. That opens up all sorts of possibilties!

Is This Place Great Or What!??!

I've just received a suggestion from a former art teacher, and it's so promising, I just have to share! She said, and I quote:

"the best (and easiest) way to form a clay mask is over wadded up newspaper. You can just crumple it up and lay the slab over it or make a shape by rolling and forming the paper and then taping it.
Slab can be worked on while over the mold or flat.
Leave slab over your paper mold until ready to fire.
Have fun!"

Why didn't I think of that? I thought of paper mache, but slightly damp wadded newspaper just may do the trick with a minimum of fuss and mess. Plus, I think that since I bake on paper (trays and box forms) all the time, if I let the paper dry enough I can leave it right on the form to bake it without worry about what effects steam could have.

I love this PLACE!!


RE: Masks

I like the newspaper ideal too...would be easy to mold. Probably even wadded up aluminum foil would work. I have some ceramic faces that used to have all the wild tacky colors (cheap ones like you see in import stores or flea markets)...I had painted them brown and they have been on my wall. I bet a person could hand shape a mask (with any part of the face) and lay it on the ceramic one to bake. HMMMM!!! another thing to try.

RE: Masks

I have used two things. For myself I used a styrofoam wig head covered with foil as a form for developing free-form clay and mache masks.
In my classroom I used inexpensive masks made from the same cardboard as some egg cartons. We covered them with Saran Wrap and used a product called Sculptamold, a paper-based modeling compound. I believe Dick Blick's Carve 'n Cast is the same thing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sculptamold

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