Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Plaster bandage direct cast mask!

My 9 year-old step-grandson has been bugging me to do an art project with him.  I suggested an old favorite project of mine, making a direct cast of the face.  So today he was dropped off at my house for two hours, giving us ample time to make the mask cast, to cast his fist in two parts and reassemble them, to eat a bowlful of melon, and even time for him to harass the cat!
We started by tying a covering over his hair.  A shower cap is a good alternative.  
Then we greased up his face with Vaseline, putting an extra-thick coating on his eyebrows.
We cut some plaster into various size squares and rectangles, and I got a bowl of very warm water and some paper towels. (The plaster sets more quickly quickly if the water is warm.)
I started dipping the pieces of plaster into the water, dripping off excess water onto the paper towels, and then smoothing them on his face, leaving his eyes exposed.  I made sure to fold the pieces that would be the outer edge of the mask, to make those edges neater and stronger.  
When I was done, he relaxed for a few minutes to let it firm up.  It didn't take long at all; as a matter of fact, the forehead was pretty solid by the time I was done with the chin!  When I thought the mask was dry enough to take off, I had him wiggle his chin a little, and then pulled I the mask right off his face.  It came off easily.  He went into the bathroom to scrub his face. 
I had suggested we cast a bunch of fingers to add to the mask like spikes, but he wasn't interested. Instead he said he wanted to make a cast of a fist.  I explained that I'd have to cut it in 1/2 to get it off, and so we decided to make it in two pieces.  First we cast the front, then the back, and then we used more strips to attach the two halves together.  The assembled fist is visible in the photo at the top of the post.    
He couldn't resist trying it on a few times while it continued to dry.  
The plan, I think, is to get together again next week to paint it.  I think he wants to add Wolverine claws to the hand, but I'm not sure about the mask.  I'd encourage him to add more details to alter it (horns, spikes, extra eyeballs, etc) but he's an impatient 9-year old and just wants to paint it.  He wanted to take it home to paint but his mom had to explain that she doesn't have the "right" kind of paint.
Tune in next week to hopefully see the finished products! 

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