Mask Process Failures and takeaways!

edited May 22 in Lab work
I wanted to share the process, learnings of my Witch - old person mask. I wanted to experiment with materials I have accessible in the shops so I went with oil based clay medium for sculpture, I casted my own face with alginate, and made cores with a mix of plaster of Paris and Vinyl Cement (to replicate Ultracal 30). I am using this piece to learn so not super worried if the whole process doesn't work 

- I modified the cast of my face to remove undercuts from nose, lips etc... I created 3 cores. 2 from that stone material another one with  polyurethane resin.

- Started Sculpting. I learnt so much with the videos from this Course but also other resources online. The most difficult part for me was adding detail that made sense, pores, skin detail, small wrinkles, I re-did the detail so many times and still wasn't 100 percent happy with it but I moved on.

- I created my own Gelatin and stored it in cubes so I could melt it later to cast. I added flocking and some pros-aid to strengthen the mix.

- So yesterday I was ready to mold the mask... I used my own mix of plaster of Paris with Vinyl cement and burlap. I started with the detail layer. The cement has some grainy aspect to it so not sure that was going to work. But I continued... I made the mold and let it cure for a bit. I worked on Layers. 

- When I was ready to open the mold.... something really bad happened!!! My core detail layer peeled off with the Clay!!!! I was like... what just happened...Instead of giving up I wanted to see what was under the layer of peeled off plaster and the clay. So I started peeling off plaster and clay... I wasn't hopeful but as I was peeling some detail was revealed! I started thinkin.,. oh may be I could save something.  When I finished peeling off the clay I ended up patching up some holes and air pockets with epoxy. I wanted to continue the process even though it wouldn't be very good but would give me information about the rest of the process. So I continued.

- Over night I let the mold dry and cure a little bit more. For the casting of the mask I used another core from the same face I sculpted  (doesn't match the mold perfectly but it fits somehow) I melted some of the Gelatin I made and I poured it... I put the core but the Gelatin didn't spill out. It didn't end up capturing all the detail? I should have added more? I will try later on with more.

- I let it cure for an hour or so. When I opened I was surprised with the result... wasn't super terrible and I think It will give me something to paint on and may be do an application to learn that part too! With a good wig and some dark lighting who knows.

I am exciting about learning so I wanted to share my journey of failures. Next time will be better.

For my next mask I am thinking using my urethane core and follow the same process with real Ultracal. 

Now I need to re-watch some mask painting videos and application! 

Post edited by Almudena Soria sancho on


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    Looks like the cast turned out ok!  It's frustrating when things don't work out like you want them to, but you learn so much more when things get difficult.  Excited to see where you go from here!

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