by Susanna Oroyan
Creating a mask for a doll adds an extra dimension to its character and allows the maker to demonstrate use of more than one medium in a completed doll. It is also a "no fear" way to introduce a student to sculpting a face.
Number of Sessions
One 3 hour session
The teacher should have previous experience or practice with polymer and paperclay in craft work—assemble examples of the products to show and be able to discuss properties, applications and finishes. It is helpful if the teacher has good knowledge of human facial anatomy and/or drawing and sculpture experience. The teacher could use this as a follow-up lesson for any cloth doll construction class.
Required text: Anatomy of a Doll by Susanna Oroyan
Two or three 1 oz. blocks of Super Sculpey®, Sculpey III® (colored), or Creative Paperclay ® (a 1 oz. block will make a 3" mask)
Metal fingernail file
Orange stick for modeling
Small jars, small cans, or doll face forms from craft shop, or rounded surface such as Styrofoam ball or egg
Optional: If Method 2, page 59 is used to make a mask, a sewn stuffed doll head will be required
Discuss materials and what they do. Show examples.
Discuss Method 1 shown on page 59. Have students create small, pancake mask. Be sure to make holes for attachment to cloth head.
Discuss Method 2, page 59 (optional). This method requires students to come prepared with sewn and stuffed cloth head. Follow diagrams in text as shown.
Discuss Method 3, page 59. Use rounded surface. Roll shapes and model for face as shown in text. Have students make two or three different characters or shapes. Note: If the same form is to be used for several masks in one session, then make clay lift easily from the form, first lay foil, wax paper, or plastic film over the form. Secure the covering material with tape to hold in place while sculpting. Be sure students consider means of attachment to doll, (example: will the mask need holes for a sewn attachment or for threading ribbon ties?).
Teacher should discuss how mask can be finished (painting, attached embellishments, hair, etc.) and how it will work with the design of the completed doll.