Salt dough for mask making?

Theist17

Member
If you've seen my other thread, UDON Taskmaster WIP: No, seriously, guys! I have Pictures!, then you know that I'm going to have to make a mask at some point and that I'm attempting to do all this on a minimal budget.
My questions, basically, are these:

Can I use salt dough to sculpt this mask and fire it?

If I can, how can I calculate a good amount to manufacture for this?



Thanks in advance for any input y'all can give me.
 

darthchiro

Well-Known Member
More trouble then it's worth. Just get half a box of water clay. It's fairly cheap $ 14 in my area could be even cheaper where you are.
 

mdb

Sr Member
What are you wanting to do specifically? Salt dough isn't fired it's air dry. It's flour and water and a lot of salt so over time it does break down and can also become home to thousands of occupants in the form of mould ;) And looking at what you want to do I would avoid it.

Darthchiro gave you advice on clay for sculpting but not as a final product. If you are wanting to omit the molding and casting stages (they do take a lot more time and money especially at the experimenting stages) then you could look into a few products.

I'd personally favour sculpting in clay, molding in ultracal and casting in slip latex for something like that at home.

You are using foam for other parts, you could look into using thinner sheets (craft foam) and heat them to shape. It does form very well with heat and you could make the parts in pieces and then use Model Magi over it. It is intended for kids but it is a very light air dry clay that smells and behaves a lot like EVA foam. I found it best to use it as sheets smoothed over shapes as it does not really sculpt well into anything but as a sheet it follows contours really nicely to create a super smooth surface. I used it many years ago so it may be of better quality now.

I do not recommend many airdry clays as they are brittle and heavy and often also will rot over time (being often made of wood pulp and far from waterproof) but this is pretty good for being the opposite of all of those.
 

Theist17

Member
The mask in this image is the one I'm trying either make myself or have a friend of mine make for me. We were planning on taking a plaster cast of the top of my skull and then doing a clay negative of that. The clay negative would be the base piece for the rest of the mask.

k1kReE


Since I'm trying to save some money on this costume, I'm wanting to omit resin or latex casting just because of the cost involved. I know I sound like a cheapskate saying it, but I'm a part-time locksmith, a guitar teacher, and a full-time student. It's not exactly raining cash over here. By doing a plaster cast, for which I have the materials on hand, and then molding the negative in a fireable clay, I think I can save some money and keep the final product looking good.

I claim no real knowledge of any kind on this subject, so there's a good chance I'm totally wrong. I'd like to know, though, before I drop any more cash on this project. Thanks for the input so far!
 
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darthchiro

Well-Known Member
You plan on wearing the clay? thats a bad idea. IF moneys a problem build the rough shape in thin cardboard (cereal box) or foam, then bondo to fill, smooth and build the detail. The only cost would be a small can of bondo and it going to be much better than wearing clay.

there are many ways to make that mask but clay is probably the worst. Cardboard and bondo would be much better, thats only one option.
 

Hogosha

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
If you are really doing it on a budget, I would build the base out of cardboard and craft foam to keep it lightweight, seal it, then sculpt the top out of paper mache' clay. You can make the clay at home, it air dries, and can be sanded and dremeled. Here is the recipe I use. Good luck!

Paper Mache Clay Recipe | Ultimate Paper Mache
 

Theist17

Member
Thanks for all the help, guys. I'm really glad people on this forum are so eager to help. Otherwise, I'd have spent money I don't need to spend on a bunch of useless clay.

I'll start building the mask base as soon as I can get the craft foam. Any tips on making the cap so that there aren't weird peaks from folding? I've never done anything with this kind of geometry before, so any tips y'all can give me would be seriously appreciated.
 

BornKilr

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
My recommendation would be to make it with papier mache, but instead of using water/flour paste, use wallpaper paste powder, mixed to a gel consistency with water. Its much harder than the flour and won't mold or get eating be insects either. If the mask is fairly form fitting to your face, allow for shrinkage. I was just playing with a helm/face piece and couldn't get it over my head afterwards.
 
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