Mask-making with hades.

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Mask-making with hades.

Post by hadespussercats » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:36 am

I have some pictures I took of the masks I finished up on Sunday. I thought I'd take you through my process.

At the end of last week, the assistant to the designer (a woman I've worked with several times previously) contacted me to see if I was available to make some masks for an out-of-town event. She wasn't sure if the project was going to happen-- she and the designer were waiting on approval from the producers-- but she wanted to get her ducks in a row just in case.

I was interested.

She told me the masks hadn't been designed yet, but that the producers wanted a sense of how much they'd cost. She forwarded research images (none of which were pictures of masks, incidentally!) and asked if I could put together a ballpark bid.

Why not?

A couple days later, the project was approved, and the designer sent me a first draft of the design sketch so I could finalize my bid. A day or so later, I got a color sketch, with the caveat that the colors might change once they'd settled on the rest of the outfit.

Meanwhile, I was assessing my stock, planning out the build process, imagining potential problems and fit issues so I could solve them ahead of time (particularly since I wouldn't have a chance to fit the masks on the actors wearing them), and trying to figure out if the bid I'd made was kind of high or actually not high enough.

The designer specified that he'd like the masks made from paper, since they'd be oversized and needed to be light (I don't know if you've ever been in a position to find this out for yourself, but things seem much heavier when you're wearing them on your face.) Still, there would need to be an understructure to support the paper-- something that would look good, be appropriately light, and fast to put together. And the masks would be trimmed in feather and fur-- I needed to figure out how that would work, and where I'd find the items, since I wouldn't have time to order anything online.
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The other meanwhile involved jumping through the appropriate paperwork hurdles to make sure I got money to buy supplies. This took some time. Friday morning I got some petty cash, and took a couple hours zipping around Chelsea and the Garment District, assembling everything I'd need for the weekend.

The masks needed to be finished and delivered Sunday night.
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Fortunately, I'd been able to start the patterning process and putting together the bases for the masks with what I had in stock.I ended up using buckram, which I wired with a zigzag stitch on my machine-- it was a trick getting it under the needle (and I broke a few in the process), but it's rollable (and recovers from being rolled) which is one of several reasons I chose buckram over thick paper as a base. I went ahead and attached the elastic ties at that point, too-- so they'd grip right at the understructure of the finished mask, and so I wouldn't have to figure out at the eleventh hour how to discretely drill holes in finished masks and have to hand-stitch the ties on later.
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I got home around 2:30 Friday afternoon and settled in to work. My work process from that point on was driven by time-- timing how long each proposed step would take, multiplying that by six (since there were six masks), subtracting that from the time I was supposed to be leaving the house with six finished masks on Sunday, and estimating the other known steps. Does the timing work? Is there a faster way? A more efficient way? What are the fewest steps I need to accomplish to convey the designer's idea?
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Of course, even with that, most of my estimates were off by... a lot. It's hard to estimate the time a task will take if you haven't done that specific task before.
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But I managed pretty well. I even scheduled in some sleep each night (something I never would have thought to do in my younger years.) And Sunday evening I snapped some shots of the finished product, stacked the masks in two big Ikea bags, and headed downtown for an on-time delivery. Woot!

Now, with no further ado, the pictures:
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Re: Mask-making with hades.

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:39 am

Wow!
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Re: Mask-making with hades.

Post by FBM » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:01 am

Far out!! :woot:
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Re: Mask-making with hades.

Post by maiforpeace » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:05 am

Buckram, never heard of the stuff so I looked it up, what a cool material! Where do you get it, an art supply, or a fabric place?

Those are beautiful masks Hades...and you worked pretty darn fast.

I do a lot gluey type stuff and decoupage, and I love working with those types of materials. I'll photograph some of the hatboxes I've been working on...only instead of weekend, it's been taking me months. :hehe:
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Re: Mask-making with hades.

Post by hadespussercats » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:39 am

maiforpeace wrote:Buckram, never heard of the stuff so I looked it up, what a cool material! Where do you get it, an art supply, or a fabric place?

Those are beautiful masks Hades...and you worked pretty darn fast.

I do a lot gluey type stuff and decoupage, and I love working with those types of materials. I'll photograph some of the hatboxes I've been working on...only instead of weekend, it's been taking me months. :hehe:
Buckram is a millinery fabric (for hats)-- you can buy it online. I got it at a millinery shop in Midtown. There are several weights, depending on what you want to do. It's starched, and with steam you can bend and stretch it into shapes, over molds and such.

And there's a variety of buckram used in tailoring, to stiffen suits, and also in bookbinding-- stiff cloth covers.

I love paper mache and the like. If I'd had months, I might have made a mold and cast paper pulp over it-- which you can sand to a fine finish. But you do what you can do in the time you have.
Out of the people that ever were, almost all of them are dead.
There are way more dead people, and you're all gonna die
and then you're gonna be dead for way longer than you're alive.
Like that's mostly what you're ever gonna be.
You're just dead people that didn't die yet.
--Louis C.K.
The green careening planet
spins blindly in the dark
so close to annihilation.

Listen. No one listens. Meow.

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Re: Mask-making with hades.

Post by maiforpeace » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:37 am

hadespussercats wrote:
maiforpeace wrote:Buckram, never heard of the stuff so I looked it up, what a cool material! Where do you get it, an art supply, or a fabric place?

Those are beautiful masks Hades...and you worked pretty darn fast.

I do a lot gluey type stuff and decoupage, and I love working with those types of materials. I'll photograph some of the hatboxes I've been working on...only instead of weekend, it's been taking me months. :hehe:
Buckram is a millinery fabric (for hats)-- you can buy it online. I got it at a millinery shop in Midtown. There are several weights, depending on what you want to do. It's starched, and with steam you can bend and stretch it into shapes, over molds and such.

And there's a variety of buckram used in tailoring, to stiffen suits, and also in bookbinding-- stiff cloth covers.

I love paper mache and the like. If I'd had months, I might have made a mold and cast paper pulp over it-- which you can sand to a fine finish. But you do what you can do in the time you have.
Just what I needed, another excuse to spend more money on craft projects. :lol:
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Re: Mask-making with hades.

Post by hadespussercats » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:41 am

maiforpeace wrote:
hadespussercats wrote:
maiforpeace wrote:Buckram, never heard of the stuff so I looked it up, what a cool material! Where do you get it, an art supply, or a fabric place?

Those are beautiful masks Hades...and you worked pretty darn fast.

I do a lot gluey type stuff and decoupage, and I love working with those types of materials. I'll photograph some of the hatboxes I've been working on...only instead of weekend, it's been taking me months. :hehe:
Buckram is a millinery fabric (for hats)-- you can buy it online. I got it at a millinery shop in Midtown. There are several weights, depending on what you want to do. It's starched, and with steam you can bend and stretch it into shapes, over molds and such.

And there's a variety of buckram used in tailoring, to stiffen suits, and also in bookbinding-- stiff cloth covers.

I love paper mache and the like. If I'd had months, I might have made a mold and cast paper pulp over it-- which you can sand to a fine finish. But you do what you can do in the time you have.
Just what I needed, another excuse to spend more money on craft projects. :lol:
Do it, and post a seminar!
Out of the people that ever were, almost all of them are dead.
There are way more dead people, and you're all gonna die
and then you're gonna be dead for way longer than you're alive.
Like that's mostly what you're ever gonna be.
You're just dead people that didn't die yet.
--Louis C.K.
The green careening planet
spins blindly in the dark
so close to annihilation.

Listen. No one listens. Meow.

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Re: Mask-making with hades.

Post by Bella Fortuna » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:25 am

I reiterate - WOW! :clap: Fascinating to watch the process!
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Re: Mask-making with hades.

Post by JimC » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:28 am

Fucking sensational!

(mind you, the thread title cries out for a parody thread in NSFW...)

:hehe:
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Re: Mask-making with hades.

Post by Robert_S » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:56 am

Awesomeness!

Makes me want to break out my artistic/crafty materials.
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Re: Mask-making with hades.

Post by Ronja » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:18 am

Wo-how! Really cool, and your speed of working is truly impressive. :clap:

Thanks for sharing! :hugs:
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Re: Mask-making with hades.

Post by Clinton Huxley » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:20 am

Really rather good indeed.
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Re: Mask-making with hades.

Post by Rum » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:48 am

Impressive as well as super-creative!

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Re: Mask-making with hades.

Post by Svartalf » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:20 am

Impressive indeed.
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Re: Mask-making with hades.

Post by tattuchu » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:31 am

So how much money did you make? :awesome:
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