File puptcrit/puptcrit.0509, message 15

Subject: RE: [Puptcrit] Repairing cracked latex
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2005 20:05:33 -0400
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Here is a name of a man and a company who make Latex puppets and will know what to do. Steve Axtell / Axtell Expressions, Inc.   805 642-7282
Amazing Puppet Characters

-----Original Message-----
From: on behalf of Mathieu René
Sent: Thu 9/1/2005 5:09 PM
Subject: [Puptcrit] Repairing cracked latex

Hi all.

I have an experiment to try, not just for my own learning, but also it might help a small, new local theatre company save a lot of money for the short term.

They have been performing with commercil commedia dell'Arte masks made of latex. The latex is probably poured in one layer and cured into a negative plaster mould, then painted with acrylics and sprayed a weak varnish.

Because of the heavy wear, some of the paint has been rubbed off, exposing the latex itself. It is now sticky (like sugar would do to latex) and permanently soft in some spots (edges, under the nose, upper lip). Most of the masks have cracked in those areas as well, and some are torn where the most stress was.

They will be ordering a full line of new masks from me, and until they get the funding, they still need to perform with the ones they already have. The mask I will build them will be oh-so-much-better, and made to precise measurements!

Is there a way to stop the latex decay, at  least temporarily?
Can I add new latex to old latex, cured and sticky?

My only plan for now is to disinfect and degrease one of the mask with rubbing alcohol, and use thin but strong rice paper and PVA glue (Weldbond) to re-enforce (and sometimes rebuild) the weakest areas, and I would paint and varnish on top.

If this one mask's temporary recovery works, I can then offer them to repair all their masks and I would appreciated the income.

I'd really like to solve their problem, at least temporarily, because I feel I might  have a long fruitful relationship with them, as much for puppetmaking, maskmaking, and even performing.

Thanks for any clues!

Mathieu René Créaturiste
Marionnettes, Masques, Etcetera...
Puppets, Masks, Etcetera...
(514) 274-8027
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