Thursday, February 16, 2012

Assignment 3

Death Mask

In Western cultures, a death mask is a wax or plaster cast made of a person’s face following death. Death masks may be mementos of the dead, or be used for creation of portraits. It is sometimes possible to identify portraits that have been painted from death masks, because of the characteristic slight distortions of the features caused by the weight of the plaster during the making of the mold. In other cultures a death mask may be a clay or another artifact placed on the face of the deceased before burial rites. The best known of these are the masks used by ancient Egyptians as part of the mummification process, such as Tutankhamon’s burial mask. In the seventeenth century in some European countries, it was common for death masks to be used as part of the effigy of the deceased, displayed at state funerals. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries they were also used to permanently record the features of unknown corpses for purposes of identification. This function was later replaced by photography.

You will be making your own death mask and unlike how they would of done it back in the 1800's by pouring hot wax on your face we will be using either a photo or mirror as a reference and you will carve your likeness out of clay. This clay likeness will then be your stand in to create the mold, once it has been carved you will pour hot wax on it and this will make a mold. After we have a wax mold we will pour plaster into that wax mold which will harden and create your final death mask. Once we have this death mask we need a container for it. The second part of this assignment is to build a box or frame to hold your mask. Make this container in a way that might tell a story about you or convey your personality. 

clay carving tools
mirror or photo of self