Mask Making For Beginners Part 2

Mastering the clay is important if you want to create a variety of molds. The mold, of course, will not accommodate all of your projects perfectly. If you want to have a mask of a demon with horns or antlers (Hannibal style), then you’ll need to accessorise the mask after the molding process. Nevertheless, it serves as a foundation for most of your projects, especially in the beginning. Molds will become increasingly sophisticated as you progress, especially when it will come to full-face masks, but for now the focus is just to cover the face or a part of it.

Before we make the mould mixture, we need to prepare the container. Doing this beforehand is important because once the mixture is ready then you need to act fast, as the mixture will set within minutes. The best way to proceed is to place your clay mask mold into a tupperware container facing upwards. Make sure that they clay mask is as flush with the bottom of the container as possible to prevent the mixture from leaking inside of it. Add a layer of glue as a temporary sealant if you have to, which may also help in the mold removal process. Also make sure the container is deep enough for the mold to be of adequate thickness in all places. Give both the container and the clay mask a light coating of hair spray or vaseline for easy removal of the mold.

The casting mold is typically made of Alginate. It is widely available for purchase and comes in a powder formula form. It doesn’t matter much which specific brand you use, as long as you follow the instructions on the box. There are a few general things to know when preparing your Alginate mixture. First, the ratio of formula-to-water will depend largely on what you’re molding. In other words, the more detailed you want something (like a face) the thicker the mixture should Ideally be. Second – when mixing the Alginate with water, you should use your hands to feel if any lumps are forming in the mixture. If lumps persists, then it is likely that the quality of the water your are using is low. If you are using regular tap water, then it might be too hard for the mixture. In this case it is best to use distilled water for the mixture. If you don’t have time to distill your own water, store bought is fine. When the mixture is ready, just pour in the mixture and wait for it to set. This should not take longer than ten minutes.

Once the mix sets, remove it and voila! You now have your very first Alginate mold. Experience mask makers will note that it won’t be terribly useful, but it’s important that you get experience working with the material. To make a cast of your or someone else’s face, you will use Alginate, and the process is dangerous if done poorly.

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