Friday, June 28, 2013

Never too early for Day of the Dead art

I wanted to do some day of the dead art, but was having a problem finding skulls and things in July. I have one styrofoam skull that I love but can't find more of them online. I went to the Halloween store down in Littleton and although they had quite a few, they weren't quite "it".  I did get one plastic one that looks like the twin of the styrofoam one, but they only had one in stock.  Sigh.

So I thought about how I could make replicas of the ones I had and found some plaster rigid wrap (woven cloth embedded with plaster) that I could use.

I took my skulls, and a couple of cheap plastic masks and covered them with cling wrap, making sure it was loose enough that it would not prevent the plaster wrap from going into the eye sockets and nose depression.

Using the package directions, I cut the plaster wrap into strips and also some smaller pieces.  I dip one piece in water, lift it up and run it between two fingers to get the plaster activated, then put it over my skull. I do this over and over, with the plaster wrap going different directions for strength. The package recommended 6 layers.I tried to make the masks look more like skulls by not covering the nose, and trying to form eye sockets, but I can't say I am all that impressed with how they turned out. After removing it from the mold, I added more plaster wrap to cover the nose hole.

Here are my results, the little guy in the middle bottom is actually a ceramic skull. I tried to sand the glossy finish off of it so I could paint it, but it wasn't working. I covered it with plaster wrap instead.

I can't say that I love the rough look of these. There are lots of bumps and ridges from the plaster wrap.  I plan to use my good friend Paperclay to help fix this.  I'll post the smooth skulls soon, but it may be after the 4th of July as I will be out of town a few days. 
After this experiment, I found a video where Dr.Kreepy uses a plastic skull and expandable foam to make a copy. I am going to try this next, but it has a 3 to 7 day drying time so it may be a week or so before I have anything to show.

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