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Lesson Plans


Face Mask Molds from Wax...help!


From: Patricia Knott (pknott)
Date: Fri Aug 18 2000 - 13:41:44 PDT

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    After having the materials in my closet for 2 years I finally attended a
    workshop this summer on using Moulage for face castings.
    Moulage is a gelatinous material (very safe , probably has been used since
    the Middle Ages) to make molds from objects or life which include intricate
    details. The process is simple but time consuming (you will need more than
    the normal 45-50 minute class period) and could be a little frightening for
    some students.
    Moulage does not stick to anything, including hair, so there is no need to
    slather the face with with vaseline as you have to do with plaster. Moulage
    is initially expensive, but can be used over and over again ( unlike the
    dental stuff - dermagel) The presenter of the workshop was using Moulage
    that was more than 30 years old.
    This is not a complete instruction but the process goes something like this:
    The Moulage is melted in a double boiler. When it is cool enough, it is
    brushed on the face - straws in the nose and/or mouth for breathing. The
    Moulage itself is not strong enough to cast from so this is where the
    plaster comes in. On top of the Moulage we slathered plaster. The plaster
    needs to be reinforced with gauze around the nose and chin. Then you wait
    for the plaster to harden which can take 15-20 minutes. When the plaster is
    hard the recipient holds on to the cast and sits up and it all slips off.
    Now, you have a mold.
    Into the mold goes the Posmoulage - the wax. Needs to be a low melting wax
    or else you lose details. When the wax is hardened you release that from the
    mold and you have a life-like, detailed positive. Then you cast the wax
    positive in plaster for another negative and cast that for a plaster
    positive. The wax positive can be used over and over again or altered with
    a hot knife.
    The presenter at the workshop I attended is a Hollywood special effects
    artist. This is the basic process used for creating latex masks and
    appliances.

    I have some reservations about doing these kinds of processes with kids.
    Allergy problems, fear problems, time problems... who knows? There is
    certainly a real trust and security issue involved in entombing a youngster
    in plaster.

    Please be careful about delving into processes that you not sure about.
    Package directions are not always sufficient. In this workshop, I had real
    problems with having to be still and have all of this stuff applied to my
    face and particularly, a huge fear of not being able to breath.
    But, I now how to do it and I am sure I will have several students willing
    to spend before school or after school hours going through it --- because
    the possibilities for tremendous works are endless.

    Patty

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