Carved Insulation Foam Mask Project at The Costumer's Manifesto Costume Design & Construction Carved Insulation Foam Mask 5D+5C or
Foam Mold for Muslin and Glue Mask 5D+10C
This project is quite simple to describe, and has two possible uses. The first is to use insulation foam (stiff blue or pink foam from a construction supply store) to carve masks in a manner similar to that which is used for carving a traditional wooden mask, but with greater ease, and lighter weight,
In both cases the first step is to render your mask design on paper to give yourself a plan to work towards. You may end up changing your plan slightly, but starting without a plan is definitely a mistake unless you are trying to carve your mask as part of a trance-state ritual to define your character (no this is NOT a joke, this is how some cultures design masks for spiritual performances). Either way, you will need to get a sheet or block of foam, some sharp implements (box cutters, ex-acto knives, sandpaper, rasps, etc) paints, and a bit of spackle. Practice on a spare bit of foam to learn the best use of the tools, draw an outline on the main piece of foam of what you are working towards, then use your sharp implements to make your shape. Sand down rough spots that you don't want, and fill in any unintentional holes with spackle. Dry.
If you are using the foam to be the mask, drill eyeholes in the mask, and paint the foam as desired. this version of this project is worth 5D+5C.
To make a muslin and glue mask using the foam as a mold (worth 5D+10C) instead thoroughly spray the surface of the foam with cooking spray like Pam or similar products. You may then cut up small strips of muslin (preferably on the bias), and glue them over the form to make a skin of muslin and glue. After drying the first layer, do a second layer of glue and strips to make a stronger mask. Dry.
Peel the muslin mask off of the foam mold. (No this isn't always easy). Decide if you like the rough surface texture of the muslin, or if you want to smooth the surface with a thin layer of spackle. If you want a smooth surface then gently rub spackle into the rough surface ofthe mask. After about a minute, the spackle will begin to stiffen, and youcan buff the surface with your fingers to make it smooth. Cut out eyeholes, and/or mouth holes.
Paint the surface of the mask with the colors and design you want, and allow the mask to dry again.
Finally you can use hot glue to affix any other decorative elements like feathers, ribbons, rhinestones, artificial leaves, etcetera. You can use Mask Making Instructions
or one of the sets of additional instructions below, to get ideas about how to further build/decorate your mask. Try to get the mask to look as much like your intended design as possible. Any material is ok as long as it works.
When it is finished, photograph the mask as jpeg files and post them to your File folder at the class eGroup
. Post a message to the group letting everyone know you have posted these pictures so you can get feedback.
If this project really excited you, here are more online tips to help you make other types of masks that may interest you after doing this project:
The Magic Garment : Principles of Costume Design The Magic Garment : Principles of Costume Design
Costume Construction Costume Construction