Instructables
Picture of Custom Head Base for Mask Making
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I want any masks I make to be comfortable, well ventilated, and with good vision.    I made a duplicate of my head to build them on so that things will fit with precision.  

I am making masks with a new technique using yarn and hot melt glue over a clay base ( see:  http://www.instructables.com/id/Yarn-and-Hot-Melt-Glue-Mask/ ) .   I build the clay over this head core, to make sure my head will fit in the finished mask.  After  removing the mask layer, the clay is re-hydrated and reused.  


 
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Step 1: Taping the Head

Picture of Taping the Head
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This step is as easy as pulling nylon panty hose over your head and covering it with metallic tape.  

The tape sticks to the pantyhose, not your skin and hair, which avoids the need for greasing up with mold release agent, as we used to do making Plaster of Paris molds back when it wasn't considered an especially hazardous material.   The label on the box I got for this project warned against skin contact and  enclosing any part of the body with it, so I guess opinion has changed over the years.   Anyway, I decided not to do a plaster mold, and to invent another way of making a head double for a sculpture base.  

The end result was this technique.  As previously stated, it's as easy as pulling nylon panty hose over your head and covering it with metallic tape.  

I used a metallic tape, like aluminum foil with glue, to cover myself with.  The tape is available in auto parts stores for covering mufflers, I think.  The tape is good in solar reflector projects, too.   After I did the areas around my mouth and nose, friends finished covering my head.  It was comfortable inside, with easy breathing.  The eye holes over the glasses were the last to get covered.  Scissor cuts up the back of the neck helped me get out.  

I made a mistake, and added on ears to this head form using grout.  The problem was in getting the mask off of the complicated mask form.  It's easier to break off a clay ear than it is to cut around a grout ear to extricate it from the mask.  The broken off clay ears and horn shapes come off of the base mold easily, since the base mold has no protrusions, or undercuts to interfere with  the removal of the mask.    Once removed from the base, the mask can be flexed to easily break up and remove any trapped clay.  

I made this base form with my glasses on, because I want to be able to see out and enjoy the view, but I think I may make another one later without the glasses.  

To make this form, I used two layers of the tape.  I plan to try a four layer one next, to see if the added rigidity helps.  


foobear8 months ago

You are a great one for inventing new techniques! How did you get your head out of the form?

Thinkenstein (author)  foobear8 months ago

I had a little bit of help from my friends.

Thinkenstein (author)  Thinkenstein8 months ago

Scissor cuts up the back-- careful to not cut too much hair.

looks cool

Thanks for this, I have been pondering mask-making for a while now, but after trying something similar with a plaster cast a while back, I was kinda reluctant to try again... Thanks for sharing!

Thinkenstein (author)  Dominic Bender9 months ago

Having a reusable base lets you get started on details right away. If you plan on making a lot of masks, you might as well be sure from the beginning that they will all fit.

Possibly, just filling the tape shell with aerosol spray foam might be solid enough to avoid the heavier grout and Styrofoam fill material. That's on my experimental do list.

Ummmm... I did that with a body form of duct tape over a t-shirt. Emptied about two cans inside (knowing nothing). It was still erupting weird growths months later. It needed air to cure.

Thinkenstein (author)  mole19 months ago

Hm-m-m-m, weird growths months later you say. I wouldn't have expected that.

The liquid foam stuff was finding ways out through the solidified foam and tape... like some horrible form of cancer... long worm like growths and blobs. After six months or so It went in the garbage and may still be growing in a landfill somewhere. Jarikcbol has it right.

I once emptied the rest of a can onto a piece of cardboard, figuring I could try and carve something out of it. The next day, I found that the blob had grown an eyestalk, kinda making the whole thing look like a slug... I considered painting it accordingly, but eventually I through it out.

jarikcbol mole19 months ago

yeah, you have to do it a little at a time from what I can tell, add some, let it cure, add a little more, cure, and so on.

is the belly really a part of costume or???
Thinkenstein (author)  Andrew Garfield9 months ago

As much, I suppose, as a false nose, a wig, or the mask itself. It all makes you into something you normally are not.

.

Gregbot9 months ago

COOL!

peads924709 months ago

This is great. Seriously, your work is amazing. I'm SO curious about your house. Have you ever posted pics of it?

Thinkenstein (author)  peads924709 months ago

You can find pictures of the house on some of my instructables. Also at my webpage; www.angelfire.com/in2/manythings . Enjoy.

jmDCI9 months ago

Awesome

kimbutterfly9 months ago

amazing :)

Honus9 months ago

Great idea- this will come in very handy for a future project!