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Masks - Clay Sculpture combined with Plaster Gauze


From: Judith Decker (jdecker4art_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Mar 23 2005 - 10:39:00 PST

Dear Art Educators,

Folks frequently ask how to do clay when you don't
have a kiln....

Here is a mask making idea submitted by Stacey Fisher:
click images for larger views.

Students cover the plastic face mold with plastic wrap
(or foil) - then build up the mask with clay. Clay is
an easy way to get details. They put the plaster gauze
strips over the clay and then remove the clay when the
plaster has set up - and paint with tempera or

A word of caution - you should keep this sculpture
clay completely away from any clay you do use for
firing as even the smallest bit of plaster in firing
clay will cause the piece to explode if fired (or at
least chip off where the plaster particles are). The
sculpture clay can be reused again and again - kept in
a separate bin for storage.

Stacey - if you see this - do you put the strips
directly over the clay - or do you put on plastic wrap
-then the strips? I did have problems one time when I
built up a form with plasticine clay. The plaster
gauze didn't set up right (so I didn't do that with

I will put one image on the masks idea page - and will
add her Jester to the carvinal mask lesson page and
the Zebra to my animal mask lesson page - with some
brief "how to's" there.

I will share more ideas this easy way first. I haven't
started the Mask Lesson Ideas page yet.

Check Art Video World catalog for videos.

Judy Decker

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