Friday, July 15, 2011

Mask Making: Cat and Bird

 The cat and nose mask blanks were purchased from Dharma Trading Co. and are paper mache'.

 I love the shape and look of the cat, however after trying it on soon realized it was difficult to breathe.  Not wanting to inflict that on the guests meant to wear it I fashioned air holes that added to the cat design as well.

The key is to do it slowly and with care.

On one hand, it's just paper so it can rip and break.

On the other hand, it's thick paper.  It's not a bit deal to modify the mask blanks for comfort and design.

The cat was then spray painted a metalic gold and free hand designs drawn on with a brown micron pen.

Everything was sprayed with a fixative to protect it.

Accent jewels were glued on with fabritac.

'Nosey' here was my favorite to do.  As in previous posts, he was first spray painted.  However, it should be noted that the fabric reactive dyes we used were difficult to keep permanent on the paper mache'.  Future projects should use acrylic.

Above and below the eyes as well as on the beak, bits of shaped ribbon were glued with fabritac.  This took some careful placement and cutting to keep flat
ribbon smooth on a curved surface.

With a hot glue gun, raised lines were drawn around the ribbon and in swirls around.

This was mostly done 'free hand'  Some of them could be shaped with a knife within a few seconds of being glued, but mostly everything was left as it laid for a whimsical, dimensional effect.

It was also the first time I used a glue gun and didn't manage to burn myself.  yay.

Note: I've since learned that using lines of a thick craft glue will work for the raised work, if you have the time and patience to let it dry untouched.  More on that later.

These raised lines, as well as portions by the eyes, were then painted with a very shiny gold acrylic.

Everything got sprayed with fixative.

Final cost for each of these was around $9.

Seeing people wear and enjoy them, however, was priceless.