This page details the process for mask crafting using wooden forms. A plaster form can also be used and will save time. Several video tutorials can be found on youtube.com and elsewhere.
- Get a plaster negative of the players face
- Produce a clay positive of the players face
- Add clay to make the face look like the character
- Slice the clay the long way on the face to make 3/4 inch wide slices
- Cut 3/4 inch wide planks with a bandsaw or jigsaw to make them match the corresponding clay slice
- Trim the bevels on the wood
- Glue the wooden slabs together
- Do finishing work on the wooden model to make the right surface. (Use chisels and/or grinders.)
- Take a piece of 5 oz vegetable tanned leather and try it on the form, and then cut out a slightly generous piece to make the mask
- Skive the leather to get the roughness off the back of it. (An advanced technique is to thin the leather for delicate shaping.)
- Soak the leather in hot water for about five minutes, until the air bubbles stop.
- Press the leather onto/into the form and tack it to the back. We used a wooden 'thumb'.
- While the leather is still very wet, hammer it into place and soften it with the tip of a cow's horn. Cut slits for the eyes and nostrils.
- Re-tack the mask on the back if necessary. Smooth the surface with the wooden thumb. Let it dry overnight on the form
- Mend the seam at the tip of the nose. For some masks, like that of the Dottore, the bridge of the nose must be reinforced with wire.
- Make the edges by trimming, skiving, and folding back the edge material. Consider including a wire to keep better shape.
- Dye the leather and apply protective coating. Add eyebrows, facial hair, and ties for the back.
- Pain the mask.
- Put it on (after drying).
- Come play with us!