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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sculpting Yoda

So, I have a habit of getting myself into jams of my own accord.  This year for Halloween, Cainan insisted that he wanted to be Yoda.  He’s been saying so for several months.  I thought he might change his mind but it’s been made up for a long time now. 

At some point I decided it would be easy to make his costume, including a mask made of paper mache.  I think this assumption came from our little paper mache piñata project from this summer.  I’m not really sure why I thought it would be no big deal.

Anyway, I’ve been acting under this assumption and purchased the paper mache clay and green paint as I had good coupons and could get them for cheap.  However, I kept putting off actually making the mask--mostly because I had no idea what I was doing and didn’t really know where to begin.

Here we are the week of Halloween and I kept telling myself, “I’ve got to get this done.”  Today, I realized the boys’ first Halloween event is tomorrow evening and I had absolutely no more time left to dilly-dally with this.  I had looked up some how-tos on mask making and paper mache earlier in the week and this afternoon, I launched into it whole-heartedly.  

I started with creating a newspaper ball bigger than Cainan’s head as the basic mold.  I guess the idea is after the paper mache is molded around it and dries, you can tear out the paper center and have a hallow mask. 
Using the paper and some masking tape I made and attached ears.  I then used the same method to start molding a face with the paper and tape.  Eventually, I was pretty satisfied with the basic shape of his head and facial features.  Once I got the paper mold to a place I thought was acceptable, I mixed up the paper mache and started slathering it on the paper mold.  At the same time, I was also trying to sculpt the features of Yoda’s face.  I’m no sculptor so this was pretty challenging.  But, at least once that was done, the hardest part was over.

I started adding more mache to the rest of the head and soon found myself out of material even though I hadn’t finished the ears or the back of the head.  I had to run back to Michael’s and thankfully, I still had another 40% off coupon, so the damage wasn’t too bad.  In fact, I should come in under $15.00 for the whole costume, which sure beats the $35 - $65 the costumes go for in the store (and they’re super chintzy!)

I came back home and finished up the head.  Now it’s got to dry overnight without cracking, even though it should, technically, have two to three days to dry and cure for painting.  A fan and heat can help it dry more quickly, but cracking is a risk.  Then I have to paint it to look like Yoda and cross my fingers that the thing will sit on his head correctly and that he’ll wear it for more than 30 seconds (he does not have a great history with masks).

Of course, I’m undertaking this little project during one of the busiest weeks I’ve had in months!  What am I thinking?  Oh yeah—that I’d do everything within my limited power to put a smile on my little boy’s face, even if that means taking up sculpting and mask design on short notice (ok, I understand the short notice was completely due to my own procrastination).

I probably should have just saved up the money and bought him a store costume—it would have been a lot easier and by the time this thing is all done, the store costume probably will look a lot better too, chintzy or not (I am aware that Yoda's ears are more like Dumbo's in my rendition, but there's not much I can do about it at this point).

Oh well.  I will post final photos when I get it all pulled together.  Wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. I think it looks good! :) Hope it dries well for you