Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Friendly Plastic Masks

Friendly Plastic can be used to make stunning masks, as you probably know.  I usually work on the white papier mache mask bases (when I can get them) which tend to be a nicer surface than the brown type.  I do have the 2 eye hole masks available on the web-site (£5.50 each).  There are many different ways of making the masks.  Below are photos of  full face masks and an eye mask - which have been totally covered in Friendly Plastic.  Some of you will seen the orange full face mask at the exhibitions.

You can see from these 2 masks some of the different items which can be easily incorporated.  From feathers and mirror mosaics on the full size masks to plastic coated wire swirls on the small mask.  On the mask below I have added beads by wiring them onto the lacey crown, and Friendly Plastic has been wrapped around the 'tails' hanging from the mask.  You can acutally heat the Friendly Plastic directly onto the mask, and it will fuse to the mask, and you can just continue building up the Friendly Plastic until it is completed.   You can of course reheat the mask at the end to add any embellishments, or to create patterning with a needle tool or rubber stamp.  The 'crown' pieces on the purple mask below were created away from the mask, I then dipped the edge in hot water to fix them to the mask.  Another alternative is to cover the mask with tin foil (a good quality one) - make sure it covers the mask well and is well pressed down.   When the mask is cold it can be lifted off with the foil and the base reused (and the foil pulled away from the Friendly Plastic mask).  Please be patient and do not remove it until it is totally cold!!
By the way the blank mask which I used for this one includes the back 'halo' - which is shown totally covered in purple.  Whilst I do not have this on my web-site I do have 2 or 3 available, so contact me if you would like one.  They are not on the web-site because of the size of the box I have to use!  You can of course always pre-order and collect at an exhibition.

As I said before the masks above are totally covered with Friendly Plastic, but there is another alternative to decorating the mask bases with Friendly Plastic, which is more economical in its use of Friendly Plastic.
These are the examples:

All the masks were worked directly onto the mask bases.  Because I was going to use Alcohol Inks I had to prime the bases firstly, using 2 coats of watered down PVA.  Allowing the first coat to dry before the 2nd was applied, and then allowing it to dry out completely.  For the Friendly Plastic part on the top and bottom mask you can use either Friendly Plastic pellets or 'waste' Friendly Plastic.  The Friendly Plastic was heated on the Teflon Sheet and then a 2nd Teflon Sheet laid on top and then rolled flat.  It was then heated onto the mask and rubbed stamped to create the texture (put the rubber stamp into a clear ink pad first).  Finally the masks were finished with a mixture of Alcohol Inks (including Metallic) over the mask base and the Friendly Plastic.  The ties were done by plaiting metallic threads.
The middle mask is slightly different in that the mask was covered with Alcohol Inks and the flowers were added last (these were made from the pre-coloured Friendly Plastic Strips).  And of course the beaded lengths were added by making tiny holes in the mask.
Hope you enjoy this post.

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