Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Tale of Two Masks

Well, it's Halloween season, and that gives me the urge to make masks.  I know that masks are uncomfortable and hot and limit your vision, but that doesn't stop me from really liking them--both to make and to wear.  Somehow you feel protected when you're in a mask; no one can see the real you.

I wanted something skull-like, something beastly looking.  Problem is--skulls are very complicated--you can't just make a pattern and have it look like anything.  You really have to sculpt them.  And I can't sculpt.

But the nice thing about working alone in my cottage is that no one sees what I'm doing--so if I really mess up it doesn't matter.  So I got out a pig skull for reference (doesn't everyone keep a collection of skulls on hand) and stuck a wig head on a flowerpot for a base.  I had a roll of aluminum foil and some hot glue and glued loose balls of foil together and started pushing them around.  And lo and behold--I eventually had something that looked vaguely like a pig skull. (RATS!  The picture is on my phone in the other room--and I can't go get it because Dingo the flying squirrel is happily snuggled up under my shirt--so picture a wad of aluminum foil that sort of looks like a pig skull)

Then I started cutting up pieces of worbla (that plastic-sawdust stuff that I like to work with) and sticking them on.  Lo and behold--I ended up with a pretty darned good-looking skull.

The teeth and tusks are also worbla, but made with flour rather than sawdust.  

I really liked it at this stage--but to be a mask it needed a bit more ooph.  I added some horns.

Which amuse me because they're made of small plastic drinking cups glued together.  Then I painted some highlights and shadows and a bit of blood and glued the whole thing to a ball cap so I could wear it and added some shaggy stuff to hide myself.

All in all, I'm pretty darned happy.  Now I need to make a costume to go with it.

And then for something completely different, I made something light and funny.  A friend wants to be a toucan for Halloween, so I came up with a toucan mask--a yellow ball cap, some craft foam, and a bit of black felt.

My learning challenge on this one was to paint it with an airbrush--something I need to practice but it's fun.  And my friend really liked it (so did everyone else when I took it in to work--there was mirth and merriment all around.
Meanwhile, back on the farm (or at least the front of the barn) the carport is in!.  After all our prep--having the junk stored there hauled off, having a tree cut down (and cutting, splitting, and stacking it), hauling sand to level it and compacting with The Beast--the actual installation took about an hour.  I've never seen four people work so fast without getting in each other's way.  Ta Dah!
And now my bags are packed and I'm ready to go--heading up to Boston for a few days to visit Mike and Margo.