1. The Clay sculpts for the masks of Athena and Poseidon. They are sculpted over life masks of the puppeteers who will use them. This view gives a good idea of the shape of the final masks.
2. The plaster mold of the Athena mask drying on the back porch. We ran into a little problem, because she was attached to a piece of foam core board, and there were air spaces in the plasticene as well. She started floating up to the top of the plaster, and Steve had to hold her down until the plaster had almost set. That's why she's a little crooked in her mold.
3. The plaster mold of Poseidon along with the original plasticene. It just lifted out of the plaster virtually intact.
This is most easily done if you wait until the plaster has reached maximum heat and then cooled back down almost to room temperature. At this point, the plasticene is nice and soft, but still holds together rather well for removal from the plaster.
July 16, 2001
Two of the characters in Perseus, Hero of Ancient Greece are not puppets at all but are masks. We decided to make them out of neoprene as well, rather than papier mache.
This made for a couple of rather heavy plaster molds, (each one took almost an entire 50 pound bag of plaster), and a slightly different neoprene technique, because they are only one part molds, and they get cast in neoprene open faced.
4. Lake Neoprene - No actually the Athena mold filled with neoprene. She took almost two gallons of neoprene to fill, and about 1/3 of a gallon ended up as the mask.
5. Here are the two neoprene masks, one day apart in their curing. They are sitting on a piece of foamcore board. Notice the T-pins in the Poseidon mask. Pushed through the flash around the mask and down into the foamcore board, these help hold the shape of the mask as it dries. A fan blowing on the curing neoprene helps speeds the drying process.
The flash will be cut away on both masks as well as the areas below the upper lip. This will allow the puppeteers to be heard by the audience while wearing them, since they do the show's dialogue live. We'll see them painted in a few days.