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New Member - mask making

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  • Marguerite Foster
    Greetings. I m Marguerite, I m new and I m really looking forward to learning more about leather work. My first project is mask making. I ve studied mask
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 5, 2007
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      Greetings.

      I'm Marguerite, I'm new and I'm really looking forward to learning
      more about leather work.

      My first project is mask making. I've studied mask making and
      performance (primarily Commedia del'Arte)but we never learned to make
      the masks out of leather, which I feel misses so much of the tradition
      involved in the form.

      I've done some research but I am somewhat intimidated and could use
      some really basic advice as to the right materials and tools to use,
      which leathers to use and where to get it. Any technique notes or
      research sources would also be a huge help.

      Thanks !
    • Neil Carr
      Hi there Have you come across this site before?: http://www.goldenstag.net/players/TwinCaptains/Masks/masks.htm It s pretty comprehensive, and I ve used their
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 13, 2007
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        Hi there
        Have you come across this site before?:
        http://www.goldenstag.net/players/TwinCaptains/Masks/masks.htm
        It's pretty comprehensive, and I've used their process quite
        successfully before - in fact, I've got plastercasting scheduled for
        this weekend again.
        I used a fairly light veg-tan calf/cow hide last time, about 1-1.5 mm
        thick. This time, I'm going to try a similar weight of pigskin, which
        seems stretchier but has already given me a good impression of a plastic
        doll's face for a LARP. I tend to use mostly my fingers and a
        round/spoon modeller, but anything without an edge will do for the shaping.

        Neil/Thomas


        Marguerite Foster wrote:

        > Greetings.
        >
        > I'm Marguerite, I'm new and I'm really looking forward to learning
        > more about leather work.
        >
        > My first project is mask making. I've studied mask making and
        > performance (primarily Commedia del'Arte)but we never learned to make
        > the masks out of leather, which I feel misses so much of the tradition
        > involved in the form.
        >
        > I've done some research but I am somewhat intimidated and could use
        > some really basic advice as to the right materials and tools to use,
        > which leathers to use and where to get it. Any technique notes or
        > research sources would also be a huge help.
        >
        > Thanks !
        >
        > _
        >
        >
      • mmagnusol
        ... I would have to see someone do it before I d mold plaster on my face [assuming I didn t mind shaving a 30 year beard which the wife objects to
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 13, 2007
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          Neil Carr wrote:
          > Hi there
          > Have you come across this site before?:
          > http://www.goldenstag.net/players/TwinCaptains/Masks/masks.htm
          > It's pretty comprehensive, and I've used their process quite
          > successfully before - in fact, I've got plastercasting scheduled for
          > this weekend again.
          >
          I would have to see someone do it before I'd mold plaster on my face
          [assuming I didn't
          mind shaving a 30 year beard which the wife objects to strenuously]. I
          do have the
          book on theatrical mask making, and the one from the horror film prop
          maker on the
          shelf.

          Your comments are certainly worthwhile though.
          > I used a fairly light veg-tan calf/cow hide last time, about 1-1.5 mm
          > thick. This time, I'm going to try a similar weight of pigskin, which
          > seems stretchier but has already given me a good impression of a plastic
          > doll's face for a LARP. I tend to use mostly my fingers and a
          > round/spoon modeller, but anything without an edge will do for the shaping.
          >
          > Neil/Thomas
          >
          A few unusual thoughts from another lifetime and different trades:

          People who do veneering use loose, weighted down sandbags for unusual
          areas.
          If I were modeling eyes, lips, etc. I think I should put the mold's
          forehead down at
          an incline so that the loose bag [I might use a soft bag like a
          pillowcase or
          muslin or even the thin rubber used for applications like sandblasting]
          could press with gravity and weight against the areas below the
          eyebrows, nose, lips and chin with some accuracy. Obviously how tightly
          the bag is packed with sand is going to determine how much of a curve it
          can cover.

          If it is sea sand you are using from the local stores like Kmart
          then you will have to dry it first. They usually sell it wet and full
          of lovely
          marine organisms. Being reasonably cheap I use it myself in a sandblasting
          cabinet. Sea sand has rounded corners and it is otherwise fairly
          useless for
          applications like making molds for metal casting. You need fine sharper
          cornered sands for that.

          I used to make molds for vacuum forming in a commercial plastics plant out
          of mahogany and cherry and for large productions we cast permanent molds
          in aluminum [outsourced] which I had to straighten later with chains and
          hydraulic
          jacks for the large ones. Other oddities I used to make molds were Flexane
          black rubber and C-1 which had carbide in it for wear resistance. These are
          not the rtv molding rubbers some of you may be used to but they do cure at
          room temperature. I have used rtv molds for model copying.
          We sometimes used Bondo for small uncomplicated molds for plastics,
          mostly for details. The release we used for rtvs was air brushed petroleum
          jelly thinned with MEK - methyl ethyl ketone - laid on with a lot of
          ventilation.

          Personally I would seal with Shellac any wood molds used for wet work
          and use a glue like Titebond II or III or Gorilla Glue which are waterproof
          once cured. Anything that says water resistant isn't really. It will
          wash off.

          I think for some things vacuum might work on wet leather.

          At least you wouldn't have to heat it to 300 degrees F like thick plastics.
          We used to do work up to 4 x 6 feet at the time and a quarter inch thick
          which
          is much harder than leather until heated.
          We used a large reserve tank with a ball valve in line - a pump would
          gradually
          empty the tank while the molded plastic was removed and a blank reloaded
          and heated. The scissors lift came down over a mold on top of a sharp
          cornered
          wooden box which made the seal, and when the ball valve was cut on suddenly
          the air between the plastic and the mold was instantly removed via
          1/16th inch/2mm
          holes drilled in the critical areas. The pressure at sea level
          generated on the mold
          was about 15 pounds per square inch by the atmosphere above.
          The plastic face molds the Leather Factory / Tandy sold or are still
          maybe selling
          were made that exact way but probably on a smaller vacuum press. Those are
          used for draping and molding thin leathers on.

          The hot plastic begins to shrink almost immediately so on a positive
          mold it has
          to be removed immediately or it grabs on solid. For getting it loose we
          used to
          use compressed air sprayed in the edges and a lot of baby powder on the
          mold.
          Talc being somewhat hazardous to the health I suggest if you use a powder to
          use corn starch. But I doubt if that is necessary with leather.

          The material should be clamped in a sturdy frame in any case, and you
          would still need a sharp edged box under the mold to seal it before you
          cut the vacuum on. The frame in tiny machines is often hinged or drops
          down rods. But I suppose a strong person could stretch thin wet leather
          by hand over the edges.

          Now some purists will doubtless not like any suggestions of this type.
          Someone doing production work might learn something from other trades.
          I also did architectural and industrial model making and was a furniture
          shop foreman for a few years and a university's head cabinetmaker and
          woodworker for eight. Add in carpentry and sign carving and diverse
          plastics fabrication and welding. All the activity accelerated some
          hereditary
          neuromuscular diseases and eventually crippled me. Instead of huge things
          now I try to keep my hand in at small ones from time to time.
          I made thousands of things in my day to pretty tough tolerances.
          For hobby sand casting I make molds with a lot of detail from styrene
          and ABS.

          Magnus




          >
          > Marguerite Foster wrote:
          >
          >
          >> Greetings.
          >>
          >> I'm Marguerite, I'm new and I'm really looking forward to learning
          >> more about leather work.
          >>
          >> My first project is mask making. I've studied mask making and
          >> performance (primarily Commedia del'Arte)but we never learned to make
          >> the masks out of leather, which I feel misses so much of the tradition
          >> involved in the form.
          >>
          >> I've done some research but I am somewhat intimidated and could use
          >> some really basic advice as to the right materials and tools to use,
          >> which leathers to use and where to get it. Any technique notes or
          >> research sources would also be a huge help.
          >>
          >> Thanks !
          >>
          >> _
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Mark Cantwell
          I ve done this in the past, and I have a beard that ain t comin off. All you need to do is pack your whiskers (eyebrows also, for everyone that has them) with
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 13, 2007
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            I've done this in the past, and I have a beard that ain't comin' off. All you need to do is pack your whiskers (eyebrows also, for everyone that has them) with vaseline. Even if you are using the mold to cast liquid materials, you will still get a good impression of the whiskers in the final product (if that's what you're after).

            M

            mmagnusol <MMagnusOL@...> wrote: I would have to see someone do it before I'd mold plaster on my face
            [assuming I didn't
            mind shaving a 30 year beard which the wife objects to strenuously]. I
            do have the
            book on theatrical mask making, and the one from the horror film prop
            maker on the
            shelf.






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          • The Dudleys
            Greetings, Try the following for a complete blow-by-blow on leather masks. http://www.goldenstag.net/players/TwinCaptains/Masks/masks.htm Best regards,
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 13, 2007
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              Greetings,

              Try the following for a complete blow-by-blow on leather masks.

              http://www.goldenstag.net/players/TwinCaptains/Masks/masks.htm

              Best regards,
              Friedrich Breckner
              Favour Leather Works
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