Gorilla Mask – Made with Plaster Cloth, Paper Mache and Air Dry Clay

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This was an experiment, but I think it turned out great. The plaster cloth shell was formed over a WED clay form, then a small amount of texture and detailing was added using paper mache (one-ply paper towels, white glue and water) and air dry clay. It only took a few days, so it would make a great school project.

50 thoughts on “Gorilla Mask – Made with Plaster Cloth, Paper Mache and Air Dry Clay”

  1. Hi Jonni,
    You are my new best friend.
    I am a cake decorator and have been looking at a way to change to art rather than cakes
    using all my cake skills suits the air dry clay you use.
    And my husband is a plasterer so I will not run out of joint compound, or buckets
    I am making a 21st Mad hatter 4 tier cake in polystyrene foam, will the clay stick to the foam, and dry?

  2. I have been trying to advise a college age child of mine on paper mache. Both of us are clueless. She is in the drying process after placing paper mache over clay to create a mask. How many days must the paper mache dry before she attempts popping out the form and chipping out the clay? The professor had them build up features with clay placed over a plastic mold. We have been frustrated as when we asked for advice, people have said the last time they did this was in elementary school. Those that are more crafty do not have the patience to deal with our ineptness. Also, will the paint take long to dry? Should she not paint until paper mache is bone dry and removed from the form? Help if you can. Thanks.

    • Hi Diane. The amount of time it takes to dry the paper mache depends on so many variables that it’s almost impossible to give you a correct answer. The only thing to do is to put the mask in an area with really good air circulation (a small fan will help a lot) and then check it several times a day to make sure it’s really dry before removing it from the mold.

      When you say it was made over clay, do you mean she used an oil-based modeling clay, or wet, pottery-style clay? That could also make a difference in the amount of time it takes to dry, since the paper mache would draw water from wet clay.

      And yes, she should not paint until the paper mache is bone dry. Otherwise, she would trap both moisture and mold spores inside. For a full description of how I make my masks using plastic forms and features built up with unbaked Super Sculpey, your daughter can watch my three videos about the Pantalone mask – the links to all three posts can be found on this page. I used blue shop towels and a fast-setting paste made with glue and plaster of Paris, but the same results can be gotten from newspaper and flour and water paste – it just takes a few days longer to dry and many more layers for strength. But, aside from that, your daughter can see how the process goes from beginning to end.

      I hope her project comes out great.


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