Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kettle Corn

Masks masks masks! I thought this summer would be all about reading books and doing puzzles, but I think I might end up making a bunch of blank-face masks. I don't even know what I'm going to paint on all of them... I know I want to make Hotaru's mask from Natsume Yujincho, and maybe I'll make the bird's mask as well. I could also make that mask from DTB for mum (and this time not crappy), but I just don't know.

I've been on the internet all day looking at different ways to paper mache. I just keep finding the same children's crafts over and over again, all glossing over problems you might encounter and offering no helpful tips. Finally, I found the blog of somebody that makes masks proffesionally, and it was a bit of an eye opener. Of course, I don't have the supplies to make masks the way she does, but it's nice to see the end result of a paper mache mask not being utter crap with bumps and wrinkles. It's inspiring to know I'm not doomed to make an ugly lump of paper. Though, her blog still offers no helpful advise for what I am doing. Oh well.

I need to find a way to get ahold of some brown paper bags. I want to use strips of thicker paper in the middle of my masks. Four layers of newspaper is still wicked wicked thin, and I want to add some thickness. I noticed with the mask that I made that two layers of white printer paper was just a smidge thicker than five or six layers of newspaper, and it made me sad. If I can't find some paper bags around the house (so far, my search has failed) then I think I'll just go down to the craft store and buy some of that brown paper. It's kinda sad thinking about paying for it, but it's either I buy the paper or I buy the groceries.

Oh! I should talk about how my mask turned out.

It looked alright when I woke up this morning. It felt completely dry, so I popped it off the mold, pulled off the plastic wrap, and took a picture with my laptop. Checking on the mold, I noticed it had gained weight, and that it's underbelly was covered in condensation. So I've learned to prop up my masks while they dry, or else risk the mold will get wet again. Anyways, I fiddled with the mask for only a bit, then put it down and went to lie on the floor until I woke up. My low blood pressure means I don't really wake up until about noon.

Then about noon, I hopped up, stretched, yawned, and enjoyed the bright sun. I went to check on my mask, because I had little recollection of it from a few hours earlier. It was taller and thinner than the mold I made it on. I guessed it warped a bit and hadn't actually finished drying that morning, but I shrugged it off. Now, when I put it on all I had to do was breath in deeply and it would stick to my face. I noted how awesome this was, and tried my hand at painting a kanji on it.

My hand shook so bad. My heartbeat sped up. I practiced a few times on the newspaper protecting the counter, but I still couldn't steady myself. Also, my black paint was really chunky for some reason. So I messed up really bad on the character on the mask. If I end up going to the craft store, I will be buying one or two more paintbrushes that are really thin, as well as some black paint.

I checked on it hours later, and my mask was destroyed. It had warped itself into a tube-like thing. I don't even know how that was possible, since I put it out into the sun after painting it. But I'm hesitant to leave it on the mold for more than 24 hours, since I don't want to ruin the mold itself with the moisture, despite all the steps I keep taking to protect it. So my first mask is an ugly dud. I've already started the second mask.

I'm making this next one a bit smaller, because the last one turned out kinda big. I'm also making it a bit thicker, and I'm hoping that'll help it keep its shape. I'm also going to blow dry its underbelly tomorrow morning and let it dry until evening, hoping the blowdrier will help protect the mold and the extra drying time will help the mask keep keep its shape.

And while it's drying, I have a commissioned hat to crochet! Hooray!

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