File puptcrit/puptcrit.0509, message 20

To: <>
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Repairing cracked latex
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 2005 12:14:08 +1000

Steve may have some ideas but Im pretty sure that the pva glue wont work. 
Pros-aid is a good suggestion for binding a cotton cloth backing to 
reenforce damaged areas....citric acid .....such as used for removing pros 
aid and latex could be used to clean up the "weeping" latex and then mix 
touch up paint with latex to apply over damaged areas....but the beauty of 
Latex is that NOT MUCH will stick to it!

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mathieu René" <>
To: <>; 
Sent: Friday, September 02, 2005 7:09 AM
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 

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 

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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