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Lesson Plans

Re: Plaster-cast masks

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Bunki Kramer (
Tue, 11 May 1999 22:39:45 -0700 (PDT)

I want to try to use plaster gauze strips as the base to their
>masks but I've never tried this before. ... Are there any danger zones that I
>need to be aware of? I've got one student who said she is closterphobic so
>we plan to do another mask for her with detergent bottles cut open as her
>armature. Any advice from all of you veteran art teachers about working with
>plaster strips?

Hi, Michelle....We talked about this very lesson quite a bit some time ago
so check the archives for some ideas.

I spend about as much time talking about masks as I do talking about
responsibility to your teammates and vulnerability and trust. We do the
maskmaking in teams of three students each. They select their own team
members but we have long talks about selecting the person you trust the
most as opposed to your best friend. Doing it in groups of three allows the
more wary student to "do" a mask on two other people first to get a feel
for the material and provides more of a comfort zone. Of all the years I've
done this, I've only had one student who REALLY didn't want to do one.
Instead, one of her teammates did an extra one on their face for her. No
problem. Or you could do a 1/2 vertical or horizonal mask also which
wouldn't cover the entire face.

Doing it in teams of 3 also allows for one to be the model, one to wet the
strips and one to apply. Afterwards, one cleans up while the other one
"touches" the model (like a hand on the knee or the sholder) to assure them
someone is near and watching over them (the vulnerability and trust stage).

We use vasoline. I've tried suran wrap and the paper towels. Personally I
find the vasoline the best way but, hey, whatever works for you. If you use
vasoline, I agree you need extra on the eyebrows, around the edges of the
hair (we use headbands to hold hair back), and especially UNDER the chin.
Most of the kids forget that area.

You'll do great. It's a fun project. Toodles........

Bunki Kramer - Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Rd., Danville, California 94526