File puptcrit/puptcrit.0602, message 72


Date: Thu, 09 Feb 2006 23:22:39 -0600
To: puptcrit-AT-lists.driftline.org
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Masks (cause they're like puppet faces)




RaraBird-AT-aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 2/8/06 7:34:03 PM, creaturiste-AT-magma.ca writes:
>
> > I am currently working on a series of Commedia dell Arte masks for a
> > Theatre company.
> >
>
>     What material are you using to make the
> molds of the actors faces?

I used a product called Flexa Wax to make the initial negative mold of the actor's
face.  The wax is heated to about 110 degrees and applied over a Vaseline covered
face -- with eye lashes and brows thoroughly covered with Vaseline.  The hairline
also needs to be protected (covered by Saran Wrap) because this wax adheres to
hair.  Straws inserted into nostrils permits breathing.  When the wax sets, strips
of gauge are dipped in plaster and placed over  the wax to  form a "cradle" so that
the mold will not flatten out when removed from the actors face.  I always placed
the wax negative in a bread pan with crumbled paper towels supporting the sides of
the form.  When the plaster
coated strips are thoroughly dry, plaster is poured into the negative to make a
solid positive -- the Vaseline pulled off the face when the negative is removed is
a sufficient release medium.  The resulting negative mold can be recast as often as
necessary as it doesn't shrink the way alginate and moulage do-- useful for
multiple mask making -- and the positive can be used for any character mask through
the use of a plasticine build up.

Oh yes, be sure to cover clothing with plastice bags -- heated Flexa Wax "loves"
fabric.

WE had some overly sensitive smoke detectors installed in our theatre wing .  One
day I had four actors covered in black plastic bags (with slits for going over
their heads) so that their arms were pinned to their sides, their faces were
covered with this blue wax which prevented them from opening their eyes and they
had straws protruding from their noses when the fire alarms went off.  Needless to
say the firemen wondered what the heck was going on when these "creatures" emerged
from the building with their guides.

Have fun,

Dorlis


>
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