Three types of masks can be made using Latex, namely: -
1. Masks taken from a hollow mould
2. Masks cast over a Master
3. Masks made in conjunction with other materials.
For type 1 and 2 a master in the form of an original design, pattern or sculpture will be required this
can be made in a variety of materials, e.g. metal, wood, clay, or plasticine (Newplast) newclay etc
if wood or metal is chosen then undercuts should be avoided. Wood and metal masters will require a
release agent such as Vaseline, washing up liquid, etc. If the design must have undercuts then clay
or plasticine are better materials for the master. ‘
Having produced or acquired the master you can now proceed with mask making. For type 1 an intermediate hollow plaster mould is required.
Place the master on a suitable
board and build a four sided box around it, materials such as wood, clay or
card can be used as, the mould box will hold the plaster, ensure that the box
walls are both
strong enough and well sealed to prevent leakage of wet plaster. Make up and pour the required quantity of plaster into the mould box and allow to set.
See Fig. 1 When fully set peel away or remove the mould box walls and clean
out the mould. Your plaster mould is now ready for mask
making. Prepare the Latex by adding Latex Thickener at the rate of 1 drop of
thickener to each gram of Latex . Paint the mould,
leave to dry and repeat about five times depending on the thickness of the mask
you require, see Fig. 2.
After decoration, cut eye, nose and mouth holes.
As a finishing touch elastic can be fitted, a hood glued around the mask can also be very effective, see fig 3.
For some designs a two part plaster mould is necessary, in this case painting is not possible so simply pour the Latex in and swill around, making sure that the mould is covered, pour off any surplus and repeat as necessary, allow to dry then remove and decorate as described above
For this method the mask is obtained by painting Latex directly onto the master. Lay the master onto
a suitable base and paint the Latex onto it, see Fig 4.
If desired, decoration can be added. Paint two coats of Latex then dip string, leaves etc, into the Latex and position, see Fig. 5. Apply a further three coats of Latex, wait until everything is completely dry, then peel off and cut holes for eyes nose and mouth as before.
Produce a latex mask using either of the methods described, next using another mask which can be vacuum formed plastic, foam, shop bought, card, papier mache, etc, cut and stick selected parts or all of the latex mask to the other material. Using this method a whole range of distortions and enlargements are possible such as cheek, nose and chin build-ups. See fig 5.