Mask Making | Page 1
Slush casting is the method most often associated with ceramic casting. A clay slip is poured into a hollow plaster mold and allowed to stand for a period. The end of which time, the slip is poured out, leaving a partially cured hollow casting of clay slip behind on the wall of the mold.The plaster mold, through capillary action removed the water from the slip that was coating the plaster surface. Through a series of further clay slip pours into the mold, the thickness of the casting can be increased to the desired size. In this chapter, however, we a going provide instruction on how to create a professional quality full-head, latex mask. It will be created using the identical method – a slush casting mold followed by a slush cast hollow rubber piece. In our example, it is a rubber monster mask.
The process begins with the sculpting of a clay model in oil-based clay. However, casting latex shrinks about twenty-percent when it is fully cured due to loss of its moisture. So the clay model must be twenty-percent larger. Here our mask makers demonstrate a fiberglass head that they made which they use to sculpt all of their full head models.
You probably don’t have such a professional model stand. So we recommend utilizing an old mannequin head or a Styrofoam head. Just remember to build up the clay on these life-size armatures twenty-percent larger or the full head mask will not fit.
The mold making team sits to the right of a finished mask sculpture. In front of them are the clay sculpting tools they used to complete the sculpture The piece was created on their fiberglass armature which was made twenty-percent larger.
The mask sculptors used a tan, medium hardness, oil-based clay such as Roma, Del Milano or Chavaunt. Since this is a demonstration of mold making and casting, except for the next several steps, we are not going to go into detail on creating an original sculpture as there is plenty of material on the Internet on that subject.
Here the team pours out some benzene, a solvent used to smooth oil-based clay surfaces. Benzine has active VOCs and a strong odor so a fan is used to direct fresh air toward the sculptors as the work. (See the large plastic item in the right foreground).
A clay modeling tool is used to add additional wrinkles to the neck.
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