File puptcrit/puptcrit.0606, message 258

Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2006 09:30:29 -0400
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Truly Waterproof/sweatproof finish?

You could try a marine varnish, as these varnishes are meant to impede 
salt water.

Is there any room in the masks for some sort of padding that might 
absorb the perspiration and act as a moisture block, at least at the 
points where the actor's face comes in contact with the mask?  Dare I 
suggest a few velcro tabs and some panty liners, say?



On Jun 15, 2006, at 5:40 AM, Mathieu René wrote:

> Hi all.
> I need emergency help!
> This is not really puppet, but masks are puppet related, and there are 
> puppets involved in the show I've been working on that has the 
> following problem...
> Also, a truly waterproof finish would be useful to know so i could  
> sweat-proof my hand puppet's cones...
> As some of you know, I have made my first set of Commedia dell'Arte 
> masks recently.
> They are of my strongest, lightest, most durable recipe of paper mache 
> strips.
> I even used Weldbond as a sealer inside, then I sprayed two or three 
> layers of lacquer (rustoleum Lacquer Clear).
> At first, they seemed like my most resistant masks ever.
> Even more so than the ones I've had for 4 years of abuse.
> Not so.
> Or the Commedia actors are mutants who sweat battery acid.
> Three of them have masks that have been damaged by sweat during 
> rehearsals, no matter how many layers of lacquer I added (after 
> degreasing with alcohol, of course).
> Now, one day before the Premiere, one of the masks that seemed 
> completely fine has had some damage from sweat as well. I'll have to 
> change my day schedule again, and go patch it up temporarily. No 
> laquer this time, as the fumes take three days to evaporate. I,ll use 
> plain old glue and paper, then add a fun foam sheet using hot glue.
> The problem is that the sweat slowly softens the lacquer, then the 
> sealer(they get white), then it gets into the paper mache. I have to 
> say they are used more heavily than I ever thought possible. The 
> actors finished the dress rehearsals at midnight last night, meaning 
> they probaly pulled a 12 hour shift again.  I thought 7 hours worn 
> under the rain was a great test for my masks. I was wrong. Rain is not 
> as acid as sweat, it seems.
> So, after the run of shows, i'll get ALL the masks back, and fix them 
> up until they are indestructible. Now, what's missing is more 
> techniques to try.
> I gave up on finding a non toxic alternative, as you can judge by my 
> use of lacquer.
> Non toxic when in use, not once evaporated, of course.
> Here are the next attempts I am considereing so far (on test masks of 
> course)
> Do you have a truly wonderful method opf waterproofing paper mache or 
> something similar??
> Please, spare me the usual "drop paper, swith to fiberglass" speech. 
> That stuff is deadly and I can't use it at home, not even outside 
> (fibers get everywhere and on the clothes, and I have no washing 
> machine).
> What other ways could i try?
> -Laquer, but liquid this time. I'm sarting to think that ALL sprays 
> are much weaker than their oriignal counterparts that are liquid. 
> Psarys are small particules deposisted next to each other on the 
> surface, whil a liquid has more chance of truly covering everything, 
> even bonding to itself.
> I just have no ieda what type of lacquer to try.
> -Epoxy-based countertop varnish (one coat =55 coats of regular varnish)
> I know 5 minute epoxy doesn't stick permantently to my paper mache 
> strips, so there might be a similar problem with this varnish.
> -Marine varnish (the kind you paint on decks with).
> -"top coat" for cars (I have no idea where to get it, besides paying a 
> garage to apply it?)
> -fiberglass-type resin (probably no fibers, just the resin)
> Any other ideas?
> Please?
> Who else here makes paper mache or wood masks?
> Thanks!
> Mathieu René Créaturiste
> Marionnettes, Masques, Etcetera...
> Puppets, Masks, Etcetera...
> (514) 274-8027
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