Thursday, October 15, 2009

Making a Wild Thing Part 3: Excavation and Decoration

Finally part three!

Once your mask is dry, you'll want to pull it off the armature and remove the inner newspaper core and the clay. The first part is pretty easy - just lift up from the underside of the mask, and the entire piece should come off the armature - clay and all. It will look a bit like this:

You should be able to grab hold of the newspaper ball and just pull it straight out. Once you've removed the paper, it is time to excavate the clay. Depending on how much clay you used, you might be able to pull back the tinfoil and remove entire sections of the sculpture at once. If not (if the clay is too thick/heavy) go back through with your sculpting tools and dig the clay out bit by bit until you can pull the rest away with the tin foil.

After this step, you're ready to decorate! You can use scissors and an exacto knife to clean up the finished mask (and to cut eye holes), and I usually sand the mask and then gesso the surface before I paint. But from here you can add anything you want - horns, hair, anything - you can even sew into (if you have a strong enough needle)!

As you can see - my masks still require a few finishing touches, but once they're complete I'll post pictures of the final products. Until then - have fun making your own!


JR said...

this is a fantastic idea! and they came out great.

GeekMommy said...

so amazing!!

What did you use for the teeth?
(not that I could ever, ever do this... just curious!)

Sarah Clark said...

The teeth are actually made out of styrofoam (the same material I used for the horns). It took some very small pieces and shaped them into the tooth/cone shape with my fingers and sandpaper. I then gave them a few coats of gesso. They are still a little flexible, but were much easier to work with than say, sculpey clay.