Below are some process photos...
Me on mom and dads deck enjoying the sun and the view of the Blue Ridge. I started with a blob of water-based clay and sculpted the shape of the deer skull/mask.
Then I covered it in Saran Wrap to protect the clay from drying out and from the glue.
and then began to mache' with newspaper...
Then I did a layer of brown grocery bag. All in all it is about 4 layers of paper mache'
And then one layer of burlap on top of that. I dipped the strips of burlap in white glue.
the result is a bomber-stiff hard layer that looks really interesting. to smooth it out and make it look more organic I dripped on a layer of wax and rubbed in some olive green and brown paints.
here is the wax and paint with some added lichen and moss at the base of the antlers
some flowers (rabbit tobacco) and some magenta dyed wool fibers add a nice touch.
I think it looks really lovely in a decayed flesh kinda way!
Then I called up my friend Banister Pope- photographer extraordinaire!! and we went up on the hill behind mom and dads to take some mask photos in the forest
Banister brought along his good friend Mike. Mike made a very good wizard
I love the arbitraryness of this. what ARE they doing.... what is happening here.
Here is Banisters' website...he lives in Boone NC by the way!
Now before I came back east to work on my kickstarter project I had already made a mask like this but ended up having to leave it in California
Basically the same shape head with the burlap finish and 'handmade' antlers instead of found twigs. These are wire wrapped in tinfoil and covered in masking tape...yes they were heavy!
Then I cut a "hide"out of fake fur
not too shabby for fakiness!
Then I started playing with the images on Picasa and liked what was coming out.
So, all in all I learned alot from this study. Some things I already knew but wanted to see them "big" anyways. Like, take for instance, the gigantic antlers.....If I was to make them this big on the final puppet he would be a nightmare to travel with and I would surely at some point impale some sweet toddler that stumbled into the performance space! There will be no child impaling at my puppet performances even if my stuff may occasionally look a little on the dark side!
I DO like the idea of the puppet being a head-dress at one point(sitting on top of my as in these photos) and then at another point during the performance his head slides down over my face as a mask. and then becoming more autonomous it moves farther away from my head- moving independently and then finally he and I separate entirely and I am outside him operating him. (Bunraku style) Hmmm. not sure how this will play out. I may end up settling on puppeteering him one way or another versus several ways....we shall see.