Sunday, June 24, 2012

Uncle Charlie: Testing the Pattern

Continuing with the leatherwork, I cut and stitched on the three trim pieces, two for the eyes and one for the muzzle.
Stitching on the Trim

Here it is with the trim all on and the three cold cast pieces in place.
Once the leather is dry I will try it on to see if the straps are placed correctly. Then I will decide what else I want to do to it. I'm considering spikes and decorative straps.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Uncle Charlie: Creating the Pattern

Once I finished shaping the plasticine clay for the Uncle Charlie mask I coated it with urethane resin so that the masking tape could adhere.
Clay Sculpt with Markings
I used a grease pencil to mark where the seams and straps would go.
Covered in Masking Tape
Next I covered it all with painter's masking tape, taking care to copy the seam lines in a felt marker.
Cutting Off the Tape
Here I have just finished cutting off the masking tape patterns.
The Masking Tape Patterns
And these are the three pattern pieces laid out flat. The small one is the forehead.
First Leather Piece Cut
After scanning the patterns into Corel Draw, and adjusting them as needed, and adding in stitching marks, I laser cut the vegetable tanned leather.
Stitching the Leather Pieces
I used black waxed thread to stitch the mask together.
Face Pieces All Stitched Together
Here it is with the front parts stitched together and fitted over the clay and hardware. It's looking like a grasshopper at this point!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pestis: Plague Dr. Beak

Introducing the latest in my line of plague doctor masks. Pestis is a half mask, leaving the eyes uncovered. It can easily be accessorized with goggles and hood or hat. Made with the same quality and fine materials as my other plague doctor masks.

Pestis Plague Doctor Mask: $89

Welding Goggles: $15

Balaclava: $6

Entire Plague Doctor Outfit: Priceless

The mask is now available at an introductory price of $79 at our Etsy store. I am not selling any of the accessories, just the Pestis mask. Perfect for those (like myself) who wear glasses. Pestis is made of top grain veg tan leather and rivets with an adjustable elastic band.

Pestis Out at Night

Pestis with a Hood

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Skull Mask

I had the idea of making a mask that would be reminiscent of a human skull. Below is my first sketch.
First sketch of skull mask

I had already made up some eyecages, similar to the ones used in the Ragnarok mask, only larger, and I decided to use them for this mask.
First idea translated into clay
I wasn't sure at this point how I would make the teeth, but I was thinking of fabricating the part out of acrylic sheet and then casting it in cold cast aluminum, to match the eyecages.
Dog muzzle
After further consideration, I decided to look through my many boxes of yard sales finds, in the hopes of encountering a part already made that could be adapted to the teeth. When I came across the dog muzzle I realized I could dip it in wax to thicken up the wires, and give it a similar look to the eyecages.
Pot of melted wax

Muzzle after being dipped in wax
I heated the wax to around 220° F and dipped the wire muzzle into the molten wax, and let it cool down. Dipping it two more times gave it a nice thickness.
Muzzle casting
After molding it in silicone RTV rubber, I cast just the top part of the muzzle in urethane resin.
Muzzle casting in mounting base
Then I scanned the bottom of the casting, and laser cut several pieces of sheet acrylic to match. I used epoxy to stick all the pieces together, and filled in the hollows with modeling clay.
Clay sculpt with eyecages and muzzle
I remolded the muzzle, and cast the finished part in a pink urethane resin, suitable for sculpting the final clay shape. Once I am satisfied with the shape of the clay I will take a pattern from it and then make the mask out of leather. It bears little resemblance to a skull now, but I am liking the look and am tentatively calling it "Uncle Charlie".

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Plague Doctors Animated

I've created my first animated GIF featuring those always bickering plague doctors.
Plague Doctors' Debate