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Baking the master mask

December 28th, 2010 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

The best it ever looked.

Yesterday, after printing out my new reference images, I finished up the detail work on the mask. Now it was time to bake. I did a ton of reading on how to best harden the sculpey without cracking it, and popped it in the oven at 225F for 1 hr, then 170F for another hour. After that, I turned off the oven and let it cool down with the mask still inside. This was all supposed to minimize cracking. No such luck, it turns out. I am going to chalk this one up to the fact that the plaster base is still inside there, and there’s probably a difference in the amount of expansion/contraction that happens in the plaster and the sculpey. Anyway, I got a big nasty crack across the nose, cracks from the corners of the eyes going outward, a crack down the center of the nose, and a crack from the nose down through the mouth. You can see the one across the nose in the pic – the others hadn’t formed yet.

Visible crack across the nose.

It is possible I pulled it out of the cool oven too soon, but I honestly think there’s probably not much I could have done to avoid this besides just molding the uncured sculpey instead of trying to bake it. Either way, I’m fairly sure I’ll still be able to salvage a good mask from this by patching the cracks before molding/casting.

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