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The Big Head

My Mardi Gras costume this year involves a big head mask. I knew I wanted to Paper Mache it (I did a LOT of Paper Mache when I was making crosses—I bought the sectioned frames artists use to stretch canvas, put them together for the correct size, then Paper Mached them either as a base to further decorate or with colored tissue, etc as the frame itself) but I didn’t know what to use as the Paper Mache form. The mask must be big enough to fit over my head. It has to be spherical. One of the miracles of nature is how many spheres naturally exist because creating a sphere is bloody hard.

I researched a lot. I had some failures.

Some sites recommended a hardhat as a base. Maybe, but not for spheres. (It took me 45 minutes to “assemble” the hat which I couldn’t use—you must expect failures in new ventures.)

Everyone kept saying use balloons, but, again, it needs to be round, not oblong or pear shaped. Finally, I found a site that recommended a beachball. Genius! I found one to buy locally in February (not a small feat), and I was in business.

The instructions said to put the beachball on a stand so it wouldn’t roll away from you. It still rolled away from me. I wound up holding it in place with one hand while paper maching it with the other.

I gathered my supplies.

If you put salt in the Paper Mache mix, it inhibits molding. I whisk the flour and water mix to take out the lumps.

It didn’t take long to get on the first coat. I’ll do two more then be back to describe the decorating and (Big Secret of the Big Head) what I’ll be when I wear it.

The first coat drying. The tricky part will come next.

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