Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm Making A Mask (Part 1)

In an unexpected jolt of creativity, suddenly I feel motivated to actually do things.

...Like attempt to make this:

This is actually a thank you gift for Boyfriend for donating a big chunk of money for the Walk for the Animal fundraiser. Also cuz I like him and stuff. We went to see a DJ set of Shpongle last month, and the experience was lucid enough to sell me a bit more on the electronic scene. I've been fairly lost on the music front (on the artistic front in general) lately, so anything that works to motivate me clearly needs to be clung to. Pictures are going to be small for now, but larger ones will come once it's finished.

So, for making masks, I always use a base-form. And because this mask has three sets of eyes, I used two slightly modified half-masks to both give me extra height on the head as well as give me a basic guide for where those extra oculars should go. Then there was hot glue. And hot glue always means burns. Always.

After lubing up the base nice and proper with petroleum jelly (you know, like you use for all your lube - needs), I began applying the Paperclay.

I love Paperclay for many reasons. It air dries, it's extremely lightweight, and it's a very easy material to manipulate. I covered the base, adding depth to the cheek-bones and sculpting the nose out a bit more. For now, all the eye cavities are empty, because I have some sort of crazy idea to put the eyes in later that I'm just sort of hoping will work out. One six ounce package of Paperclay later, once I was satisfied with the shape (I went back and made the brow-lines a bit sadder, and made the mouth less curved so it wasn't being so damn happy), I started working on the lower part of the 'mane'.

Cardboard! No one can say I am not environmentally conscious, what with all of my 'upcycling' and all. Fun fact: this cardboard came from a box that was used to ship a copy of Lost Moon to me. This book (signed by Jim Lovell!) was later given to Boyfriend as a gift.

Moving on. More hot glue was involved in this process, this time with a 30% decrease in burn rate. Pieces were individually cut, with size and shape being determined by a very convoluted process that probably could have been done more effectively if I knew things like math. Then I painted it white, which I would post a picture of except it really isn't all that interesting.

Then it had to sit overnight.

I actually hate this sort of waiting process, especially because the longer it takes to dry, the higher the chance that something awful is going to happen to it in the mean-time. Taking precaution, I placed it on a towel rack in the bathroom to ensure my monster of a savannah cat, Mojito wouldn't eat it. Nigh 24 hours later, I checked up on it.

Still wasn't all the way dry, then I had this brilliant idea of digging through the bathroom cupboard to see if my housemate had a hairdryer. She did, and a few short minutes worth of bending the base mask and being gentle and some minor cussing, the mask was free. Albeit the underside of it was inherently a tad unstable, and the drying process cracked the mask in several places.

This gets remedied by busting out more Paperclay and patching over all the cracks. I use a bit of water on my fingers to help smooth things out. Once that was done, and with the help of the hairdryer, I set out to attach the lower mane to the face.

To preserve the structural integrity of the mask, I put it back on the base - as until it's 100% dry, laying it down without the base could cause the edges to widen. I used Paperclay as my means of fastening the pieces together. It took a lot of adjustments, as doing stuff on one side would cause the clay on the other side to crack/separate. Overall, NOT an efficient way of doing things. After I did the front, I quick-dried it and worked on reinforcing in in the back. Once all of this was done, it looked like this:

(If you look real close, you can spot my Silent Hill monster, Abe in the background)

And that's where it's at for the night. I don't feel comfortable doing anything else to it until it's dry and not liable to fall apart. All of my masks are actually pretty stable, you just don't want to go flinging them around. I've broken a couple, but that's what I get for moving so damn much.

Well, because it's not done yet, I'm feeling a lack of closure. So I'm going to settle all of this by showing you a picture of Mojito laying in a pair of pants I had to abandon after using the bathroom because she wouldn't get out.