Thursday, February 24, 2011

Try Something New: Making Faces

A few months ago, I purchased a roll of plaster tape from an art supply store.  I had been wanting to make plaster casts for the longest time and I had been wanting to try out a technique I found in Kelly Rae Roberts book, Taking Flight,  where she makes a plaster cast heart pendant and embellishes it with paint and glitter. Of course, I came up with so many reasons not to go out and find that store that carries it (and later on, when I did go get it, I got surprising answers and solutions to my silly fears)  – I don’t know where it is (Google maps and my uncanny ability to find my way in a maze helped me out), it might be too expensive (the whole roll cost me less than USD2.00!),  they probably won’t have it in stock when I get there so why even bother (the lady told me they never run out of it), I don’t think I can find the space to work on something involving this material (I used the kitchen sink for like 10 minutes – and no one even noticed!).

The roll is about 6 inches wide and (at least that’s what the lady at the counter said) about 10 yards long.  You cut it up in strips, get it wet (but not too wet) and lay it on the item you want to use as a mold.  I salvaged two headless Barbie dolls and two forlorn looking doll heads (that unfortunately did not match the headless bodies) from my 7-year old niece's stash and used these.  An ample amount of petroleum jelly helped keep the plaster tape from sticking to the mold (for this one I used  a blonde Princess Barbie head) and a small shot glass provided me with just enough water to get the plaster wet.  

Three minutes and a short  “conversation” with one of the shih tzu twins later, I peeled the damp plaster off the Princess Barbie head and this is what I got: 

That did it – I was addicted.  I scrounged around my supply shelves and found a silicone mold for art doll faces.  I had tried using this before with  air dry clay (see previous post) and ended up with just a weird looking lump of clay with a protrusion in the middle that I suspect is a nose.  I figured I would try this one more time and used the silicone molds.  Well, as you can see, the nose is definitely not the only prominent feature: 

Of course I can’t stop at just popping out boring white faces from molds so I thought I’d give Princess Barbie a new persona.  I don't think Ken will recognize her now.  And the art doll faces did look a little better after a few swipes of acrylic paint and some soft pastels.

I'm thinking of doing something with these over the week-end.  Maybe incorporate them into a mixed media piece. 

And in case you’re wondering why I tried this out months AFTER I finally got the plaster tape, well, as you may have guessed, there were a million (imagined) obstacles that kept me from trying this – all of which evaporated once I set my mind to doing it.  

I think Nike's really got something there. 

2 comments: said...

I love this idea. I have been trying paper mache as well without too much success. Perhaps I will try tape instead. Especially at that price.

Sharlene said...

yup. it's easy to use and not expensive at all. and you can really mold it around different things. you should try it!

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