Tag Archives: Mask-making

Make a Plaster Mold of your Face for Mask-making

Several years ago, my friend Jennifer and I made molds of our faces. Later, I used my mold to create my Green Man/Woman relief tile. I am going to be using the mold again soon for a mask. It was very easy to make. I’d heard horror stories of people needing to place straws in nostrils and lengthy drying times, but I experienced neither and you wouldn’t have to, either. What you will need to get is rolls of plaster bandaging. If you’ve ever broken an arm or a leg, it’s the same kind of bandaging with which your doctor made your cast. You can buy rolls of it at medical supply stores. I bought 2″ wide bandaging. If you can’t find a store that has it, you can buy it online. I made a mold of my own face, too, but you might find it easier to have someone make your mold for you, at least the first time. Steps to make your mold:

  1. Cut the plaster gauze into 4″ strips.
  2. Tie your hair back. No hair can be on your face.
  3. Spread a thin coat of petroleum jelly or  eco-alternative on the face, under the chin, and jaw line. This will allow easy removal.
  4. Lay several towels down and have the person you’re molding lie down on them.
  5. Place a bowl of water and your stack of plaster strips next to them.
  6. Now, working quickly, fully immerse a strip, pull it out, then remove excess water by running it through two fingers, like with the wringers on an old washing machine.
  7. Place the strip on the forehead, smoothing out any creases in the bandaging.
  8. Immediately immerse the next strip and continue, overlapping strips. I wanted a sturdy mold and had two layers over the entirety.
  9. Work down the whole face.
  10. When you cover the eyes, make sure you gently follow all the contours, making full contact with the skin.
  11. When you work on the nose, leave the full nostril area open, so there’s about a half-inch gap with nostrils fully exposed.
  12. Work your way down till you are just under the rim of the jaw and chin.
  13. Now, leave it dry. Warn the person that it will become warm…it’s not too hot and feels relaxing.
  14. You’ll be able to tell when it’s set. Once it’s set, work around the edges with your fingers, then lift off.
  15. Have sink, soap and towel nearby so your friend can wash off his or her face.
  16. Wipe Vaseline off the inside of the mold with a soft rag.
  17. Voila! I used mine for molding clay, but I decorated it, too, so when I’m not using it, I can hang it on a wall for decoration. I usually sew twigs and leaves around it.

Decorated Face: Mold is the concave side.


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Green Man Tile

When I began working in clay at the city art centre, one of the first projects I made was a tile based on the Green Man motif. I’d cast my face for a previous project, so used that mold. Our hillside is covered with English Ivy, so, for greenery, I rolled thin sheets over leaves, then cut them out. I liked the veining that showed. Overall, I really liked the project and how it turned out but, as you can see, it cracked. I later learned that it cracked because the base and face didn’t have the same level of dryness when I attached the two. I thought they were close to the same, but was wrong. The tile was bone dry when fired and came out of the bisque firing okay. However, it tore apart, as shown, when it was glaze fired. The face portion takes a lot of work and is more exposed than the base and I don’t think I can match dryness levels, so the next time I do this, I will only make masks. The results are a bit other worldly and I like that. The clay is white and the glaze is Oribe green.

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