Thursday, January 31, 2013

Inedible mask making

I know this is a blog about food, but we were so pleased with ourselves for solving this problem I needed to post it someplace.

My Omnivore and I were scheduled to attend a fancy Masquerade popup ball, for which we were cooking quite a lot of food (See? There's the food connection).  After many a gala event, we have no shortage of tux and gown outfits, but masks were another story.  I found one easily and since I wear contact lenses it was no problem at all to pick whatever style I pleased.

My Omnivore, on the other hand, wears glasses.  Try to find a decent mask that you can wear with glasses. No really. Try.  We'll wait while you search.

We googled and dug and found absolutely nothing that even remotely fits the notion of "elegant" or even "interesting."

So at last I told him we were just going to have to design and make it ourselves.

He has an interesting pair of glasses that are somewhat angular, with a frameless bottom edge. We decided that these would be the ones we'd build around and I suggested a Cubist sort of look since the glasses had strong lines.

Out came the old crafting box and I dug up the packages of plaster bandages left over from some other mask-making adventure.

I had him lie down on the floor and attempt NOT to be twitchy for half an hour, poor man, while I laid the plaster over his face. Curious kitties visited him more than once.

The results, if I do say so myself, were not bad.

When the plaster was dry, I traced out the areas of the mask roughly corresponding to the glasses dimensions and cut those away. We also snipped out the spot on the the nose where the bridge of the glasses fit. This enables the glasses to get closer to the face and sit properly, where they belong. (A bit like the Invisible Man, this picture!)

I painted a bit of Fray-Check (from the fabric store) on the edges to keep them from unraveling. Then, we primed the whole thing with a coat of spray acrylic, and My Omnivore taped off areas with painters tape.  Using a piece of paper to shield while spraying, he managed to get a nice graded effect that we deemed sufficiently close to the Cubist look we were after.

The final touch was to  line the inside with moleskin purchased from the drugstore, so that the mask would be more comfortable to wear and not too sweaty.

The final look--you can tell he has glasses on, but they don't look bizarrely out of place!

Since the mask fit perfectly to his face, the glasses slipped over the sides nicely.  He got lots of compliments on the design all night, and I have to say we were pretty proud to have solved the problem!

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