paper mache~ so versatile and easy to use. Another (more difficult) method is with plaster gauze bandages
I respectfully disagree, I think plaster gauze is far easier to work with than traditional paper mache. Yes, it works up a little differently & takes a little practice, but so does well made paper mache. I made plaster casts of fruits before I tried a persons face
(apples & navel oranges)
The advantages of plaster gauze over paper mache:
- the fabric base makes even large pieces very smooth because it flexes & stretches instead of having to be cut/ torn & layered.
- the chemical process involved with the plaster results in temperature changes, you know for sure that it's set by this.
- the cotton fibers running throughout make it more structurally sound, if you drop it or sit on it it'll crack but not come apart completely (this means it can be repaired with minimal build up as well)
- because it's plaster it can tolerate a bit more moisture (sweat) than paper mache. Although, if you plan to really wear it, either type will last longer if you varnish
(not just any old paint but varnish specifically) the inside.
- being able to smooth the plaster itself can result in stone or ceramic like finished appearance.Disadvantages of plaster gauze:
- it costs more than paper mache.
- you really can't do it on your own face. The model needs to be laying down comfortably on their back for the duration to not get odd straining shaqpes in the final product or drooping of unset strips.
- if the model isn't aware of the temperature changes involved in plaster work, they can freak out. It's cold when you first get it wet and it heats up as it hardens. It does not get hot enough to burn
, but it is quite warm, like the hottest shower you can stand in.
- like paper mache, vaseline or other greasy substance needs to be on the surface being cast, whether it's a face, a hand or an orange. Facial or other body hair is best covered with plastic (food type) wrap as well as the hair on the top of ones head. Be careful! do not suffocate your friends for arts sake!
- it's a bit more difficult to clean up off of ones body, especially if you get the plaster in hair. (I knew a guy who lost big chunks of chest hair because he used vaseline instead of plastic wrap).