Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Plaster Mask-Making

The 7th and 8th grade World Art class is beginning their study of African Masks! It is fun to watch them take turns sitting for the masks to be formed on their faces. Nerves quickly settle as they see their classmates make it through the experience unscathed!

During my student teaching experience 7 years ago, my cooperating teacher taught me a method that I find far superior to smearing Vaseline all over our faces for the procedure:

1. Draw and cut out a face-shaped hole in a 12x18" piece of tag board. Make the first oval smaller than you think it needs to be, then trim small shavings off until it fits! Label the top/bottom so it fits the outline of your face correctly.

2. Tape Plastic wrap in a "bubble" over the hole. It needs to be loose enough that it does not stretch across your nose! Use small pieces of tape to seal the entire outline. You will need to bunch the plastic wrap in places.

3. Cut plaster tape into different sizes of strips and keep them safe and dry in an envelope.

4. When students are ready for the big event, they cover up with art smocks. The first student puts on the "face-guard," tape-side-up, then wiggles pieces of a drinking straw into each nostril and in the mouth, poking through the plastic wrap. The other students create the mask with 3 layers of plaster tape.

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