Mask Making

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 and elsewhere.

  1. Get a plaster negative of the players face
  2. Produce a clay positive of the players face
  3. Add clay to make the face look like the character
  4. Slice the clay the long way on the face to make 3/4 inch wide slices
  5. Cut 3/4 inch wide planks with a bandsaw or jigsaw to make them match the corresponding clay slice
  6. Trim the bevels on the wood
  7. Glue the wooden slabs together
  8. Do finishing work on the wooden model to make the right surface. (Use chisels and/or grinders.)
  9. 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
  10. Skive the leather to get the roughness off the back of it. (An advanced technique is to thin the leather for delicate shaping.)
  11. Soak the leather in hot water for about five minutes, until the air bubbles stop.
  12. Press the leather onto/into the form and tack it to the back. We used a wooden 'thumb'.
  13. 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.
  14. Re-tack the mask on the back if necessary. Smooth the surface with the wooden thumb. Let it dry overnight on the form
  15. 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.
  16. Make the edges by trimming, skiving, and folding back the edge material. Consider including a wire to keep better shape.
  17. Dye the leather and apply protective coating. Add eyebrows, facial hair, and ties for the back.
  18. Pain the mask.
  19. Put it on (after drying).
  20. Come play with us!