Plaster cloth is one of the most often used sculpting products and is essentially the same product used by doctors to make plaster casts. Made of pre-shrunk cotton gauze fabric infused with Plaster of Paris. It is easily activated in water and wrapped, folded, draped or applied pm armatures, wire mesh or any solid surface. When set it can be canded and painted easily for creating any finish.
Small Roll is 4"x180" will make 3 face masks
Medium Roll is 12" x 118" will make about 12 face masks
Large is 4 rolls each 12" x 480" will make about 180 face masks
Plaster bandage (CAUTION: use gauze ‘approved for skin’ to avoid chemical burns)
See also plastic face masks for mask-making.
Newspaper Paper Towels
Bowl of water
Hair pins, hair ties
Students learn positive casting, one of the most popular mask-making techniques. It involves making a mold of your own face as the base of your mask. Because you see the outside of the form, this type of mask is best for broad, bold designs where fine details are not important or can be added or painted.
Cut the bandage into 1/2” squares, about 50 per mask. Set them aside. Have a bowl of room-temperature water beside you. Layer Plaster Bandages on the plastic form.
Put a few plaster gauze squares at a time in the water. The gauze should absorb water but should not soak too long (usually just a few seconds).
Work with one square at a time to build up an overall layer. Smooth out the bandages to help them better adhere to one another and create a smoother surface for painting or decorating later.
Alternate the directions of the layers as you go to strengthen the mask.
Continue until mask is 3 to 4 layers deep (depending on the model’s comfort and tolerance).
Then, let the plaster set until it is almost dry (about 10 minutes).
Remove the Mask
Gently lift the mask off the face form. Starting from under the chin, pull upwards. (The plaster will still be flexible at this stage but will retain its shape.). After removing, let the cast dry further to improve its strength. When the mask is dry, you can build up more layers to improve strength or add features. When you are satisfied with the base structure, let the mask dry thoroughly. Now you can carefully sand, prime, paint and decorate it as you wish. Ready-to-use plastic mask forms are available and are an easier option for those uncomfortable with having their face covered with plaster.