Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Commission: the Luuuuuuu

So a co-worker at work has a relative that she has commissioned a mask for! This kid is a huuuuuge hockey fan, so I get to make a mask of the Canuck's star goalie!

I've done my best to create a similar look based on reference material, and then the hockey helmet, somehow I'm gonna have to create the face guard, but I'm sure I'll find something...

Who mended...

So after some ... patience... and a fair bit of Gesso and sanding, we have a somewhat repaired, and now primed mask. Paint soon to come.

Also some happy news, I have been commissioned to make a mask as a gift for a friend's cousin! Sculpting to start shortly, and fresh pictures as they become available.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Who's not perfect?

So I'm not sure what exactly went wrong in the construction with the papier machee, I think it might have been something to do with the direction of the paper, and how it was layered... or perhaps it didn't get a full chance to really dry, but there was a rather large crack around an area of the mask.

I am now in the process of working out a fix for it, between some back filling with papier machee on the inside of the mask, and using some Gesso on the front in order to cover the crack this will strengthen it all in the long run, but it makes me worry about making this mask as smooth as the others.

However this does give me an opportunity to learn about how the paper needs to fall, and the layering of the mask, oh and the aforementioned patience in the last post... something I've never been really all that good at.


Gesso! this is the first layer so there's still a lot of work to do with making it smoother, especially around the edges, but I'm happy with how the character has come through in the mouth and cheeks.

I keep playing with the order of operation with the masks, in order to determine how to make the strongest mask. This time I have started to Gesso before I pull the mask off, allowing the mask's papier machee to fully set and strengthen up.

I have found that using this oil based clay to be a little problematic, for this strengthening actually. The oil clay when warmed sweats, and in finding ways to speed the drying of the paper (with heat) it causes the clay to become wet, making the paper weaker.

Perhaps all I need to learn is patience...

Another element that I have introduced with this mask that I haven't had much of before is a real undercut that might compromise getting the mask off it's mold, so stay tuned for that, the pull off is coming up soon!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Paper Who!

First layer of Papier Machee! this one has some smaller detailing which I usually try to avoid but I really wanted the character in the nose and cheeks to come through with this one.

When sculpting this one it felt more like I was designing a prosthetic makeup than a mask, which I suppose is a good thing, also as I was sculpting it I couldn't help smiling as I was working on it... maybe this one will stay with me when it's done...

... maybe not... more to come!

Friday, February 24, 2012


New sculpting! this is inspired by Dr. Seuss illustrations, and also credit goes to Kat for this one on suggesting the eyebrows in order to help bring the whole mask together.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Quasimodo - paint

The painting of these masks, usually happens quite quickly, and sometimes, but not always I'll have an idea of what I want the colours to reflect about the mask.

The first mask 'A Happy Fellow' I knew I wanted bright colours into black, but with this one, because it was based on a character from literature, I knew I wanted it to reflect that character honestly. Doing some reading on Quasimodo and who he is I wanted something ugly, but that still showed the inspiration that he still maintained and embodied. His ability to learn despite his various maladies, some of which are natural, and some of which have been given to him from simply the passing of his life.

So now I ask, is this Ugly? Beautiful? Inspiring? Defeating? Morose? or Intriguing?

Only one more step, and that is to seal it in Tremclad, then it'll be posted to Etsy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I ♥ Gesso

I bought some Gesso in an attempt to have a better medium to smooth out the mask before I paint it with some colour.

And I looooooove it, a few layers of sanding and painting on the gesso is going to make this thing really sing.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Quasimodo - sculpt

So that last sculpt turned into something! after a few days it finally resolved into a Quasimodo mask. Papier Mache will start soon!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New one...

Here's a fresh start, not sure where this one is going yet, but I've had a few ideas about themes and stuff like that.

but for now...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Heavy Brow: finished

here is the final paint-job on 'Heavy Brow', I wasn't sure how I really wanted to take it, but I knew I wanted it to be blue in tone, but the mask in reality has greens, and blacks, and a lovely blue-brown pigment that I picked up during my time at VFS for Makeup.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Heavy Brow - before paint

This is the mask just before painting. I have done my best to smooth it out with some drywall filler, but honestly, I seriously need some gesso...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

the Heavy Brow: update

end of the day update on the heavy brow

The Heavy Brow...

This was originally based on an actor that I saw in a BBC production called 'Downton Abby' the actor Jim Carter was the inspiration for the heavier brow, falling into the sloped nose, and bags under the eyes.

At this point in the process this mask now has 4 layers of paper on it, and is just waiting to dry so that can paint a base coat on it, prepping it to be painted in colour, which I haven't yet decided on.

The form it's sitting on top of is a face cast that I have left over from when I was in makeup school. So I have a face that I start building on in order to have the correct proportions, for the eyes in general.

First Mask

This happy guy is my first offering, but not the first mask I've ever made. I learned papier-mache mask making from a Clay and Paper Theatre in Toronto Ontario, while I was working on building a show for them. I have, recently, been trying to improve on the methods a little in order to help create a smoother, less 'papier-mache' look to it.


I am starting this blog basically as an art journal in order to show my process when I'm making masks, and perhaps a few other things as they get made. The name 'Vile Jelly' of course comes from Shakespeare's King Lear, I have always loved the line, and I felt that it'd make a good name for a creative studio that does it's best to do things a little differently.

As for myself, I am your humble servant in the creation of masks and other things. I will post a few things in order to get the ball rolling in order to show what I have done and what I'm capable of.

I will be using this blog also as a means to show the process for things that will be put into an Etsy store, where they can be purchased, and of course I will be taking commissions.

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