I love using WED clay for my sculpted paper mache masks, but I was always irritated by the grey residue left inside the mask after it was removed from the clay form. This week I found a product, entirely by accident, that really seems to isolate the clay from the paper mache, and leaves the mask clean inside.
I can’t remember what I bought the Turtle Wax for (certainly not to wax my poor, unwashed little pickup!) But for some reason, when I saw the can sitting on the shelf I decided to see if it would get dry if it was applied over wet WED clay. It did. That gave me a dry surface that could be given a light coating of petroleum jelly. Then I added my shop-towel mache, and when the paper mache was dry the inside of the mask was left with almost no clay residue at all.
I tried paste wax and a spray type of car wax over WED clay several years ago, and I wasn’t very excited about the results of either product. And I’ve tried using petroleum jelly by itself over the clay, and that didn’t seem to work all that well, either. The combo I tried this week works very well, as you can see from the results in the video.
To be honest, the “problem” isn’t all that big a deal – you can always cover up the dried clay on the inside of the mask with one more layer of paper mache. That isn’t usually a bad idea, anyway, because it makes the mask stronger. But still – I’m happy that this product worked, and it was fun seeing my angry-man mask in his green wax skin, even if it was only temporary.
By the way, I received a tip this week by one of our readers, who suggested that a polyurethane varnish is a better choice for sealing the inside of a paper mache mask. She said that matte acrylic varnish doesn’t hold up well to the heat and humidity inside a mask when it’s worn for any length of time. Thanks for the tip, Joanna!
Links to items mentioned in the video:
- WED clay
- Turtle Wax
- How to Make Masks! Easy New Way to Make a Mask for Masquerade, Halloween and Dress-Up Fun, With Just Two Layers of Fast-Setting Paper Mache
I also found a product similar to the Sponge-its on amazon.com, but I’m sure they were much less expensive at Wall-Mart.
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