Making Changes to My Mask Making Studio

I spent some time today making a new mask form over a life-sized plastic skull, and then modified it a bit so it will (hopefully) work for animal masks as well as people. I also made a few changes to the tiny rolling table that I like to work on, so I can work on my masks while looking at them from the proper angle. I’ll tell you my reasons for these little changes to my studio in the video.

I’ll start working on my wolf this afternoon, and if it turns out OK I’ll show him to you in the next post. I will probably turn him into a wall mask, and I have to decide if I should use the two-layer paper mache system I used for the masks in my new mask book, or if I should make a silicone mold and use the instant paper mache recipe. I suppose it depends on how well the wolf turns out – if it looks like the world needs more than one of them I’ll make the mold. If not, I’ll make just one using the sculpture as a positive mold, and keep him on my own wall. Wish me luck.

8 thoughts on “Making Changes to My Mask Making Studio”

  1. Hi Jonni,
    Even when making wearable masks one has to prop the mask form forward – I work in a glass baking pan (like a lasagna pan) and prop the mask up on a roll of duct tape so that tilts at me. I like your easel setup, but I don’t know how you work standing up! I work on the sofa and have everything propped on a million pillows. Maybe a board wedged in the couch

    I’m in the middle of making a mask form (per your directions), but I’ve found good premade ones here:http://www.mardigrasoutlet.com/C104D4/Basic-Paper-Mache-Masks.html – they actually fit adult faces and real-life noses! I do hope the plastic bag sticks better to the homemade form though – all my face noodles kept moving!

  2. Hey Jonni,
    Good luck with your wolf mask. I would suggest making it a wall mask. Real wolves have shorter foreheads then people, so if you want realism you should make a wall mask. This was my Halloween mask last year so it doesn’t look as real as a real wolf.

  3. Thanks for the insight but it is something that I have been doing with my masks – only I have been using a pillow to have the mask more at eye level when working on it. Your set up seems ideal though – where did you get the caddy?

    As always it was a pleasure to see and hear you on video. Maybe someday we can meet and have a mask making bash together. I can see us now – you on one side and me on the other – adding noses, eyes, etc….

    • I got the little table with wheels at Fred Meyer in Portland about ten years ago, in their kitchen department. It really works well for me.

      I think we live a very long ways from each other, but maybe some sort of virtual meeting would be possible – I was approached by a start-up company this week to see if I wanted to hold online classes for a very small number of people. I turned them down, but maybe I should have considered it a little longer. If I could see you as well as you seeing me, it would make it a lot more fun.

  4. I just love the small photo with the masque and the mould — the masque is more handsome, something about his/her teeth!



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