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The Masks are created from tinfoil, newspaper, recycled cardboard and miscellaneous other materials to create teeth and hair. The Masks were an experiment in breaking free from symmetrical design. Symmetry is something I tend to gravitate towards when designing and building props.
The mask project was an experiment in technique and style. First I had never created a papier mache mask and secondly I wanted to work outside my comfort zone of symmetrical style.
The project started by creating a form of my face using several sheets of tinfoil. The foil was molded to my face then reinforced with a combination of hot glue and expandable foam insulation.
Papier mache strips were used to create the basic mask shape. A wet piece of newspaper was draped over the foil form. The wet newspaper will act as the “release agent,” not adhering to the foil while adhering nicely to the layers of papier mache. Strips of newspaper were dipped in paste and layered in a criss cross fashion over the form. Approximately ten layers were used to create a strong blank mask.
After the layers were thoroughly dry, the papier mache shell was removed from the form and the excess paper cut from the edges. Holes for the eyes and mouth were cut with an X-acto knife creating the basic shape for the mask.
Various materials were used to build the facial features such as cardboard, plastic forks, broom bristles, yarn and rolled newspaper. The eyeballs were created by molding papier mache clay in plastic Easter eggs.
The final paint technique consisted of painting the entire mask flat black, dry brushing with white primer, then air brushing opaque layers of yellow, green and brown.
The masks are all wearable although a bit uncomfortable and heavy. All things considered the masks were a fun project that allowed for a lot of creative freedom and experimentation.