Well..., first Jamie starts with a couple of drawings showing the front, side and back of the figure he plans to sculpt. Then he starts putting clay over an oversized generic head form that is used to make masks. But, the head form is made of plaster so you first have to coat it with a petroleum product so that the plaster wont suck the moisture out of the clay (especially water based clay) and ruin the sculpture.


You just keep putting on clay and more clay until you have the basic idea and then it's all fine tuning. When sculpting, always start with your biggest tools (your hands!) and work your way down to smaller and smaller tools.

Note: If you live in a climate that is DRY you will have a hard time using Water Based Clay. You just have to keep misting the clay with H2O and when you're not sculpting cover it with plastic.
   (A trash bag works fine)

Jamie uses WED Water Based Clay.



It's almost done!

Now Jamie starts to add the wood grain texture to the sculpture so it will have that realistic wood look.

OK!... Take a lot of pictures of your finished sculpture because next (Molding) is the scary part !

Put plastic wrap over the back half of the sculpture ( this will keep the moisture in ) and build a clay barrier (wall) that will be the dividing line between the front and back sections of the future mold. Plaster bandage on the back of the dividing wall will keep it from falling off when you paint plaster onto it. You also need to put 'Keys' on your wall so the mold will close right. Keys are bumps of clay that will become bumps of plaster on the wall of the mold. Without keys, the mold halves will slide around on each other without anything to make them stop sliding.

Start brushing on the plaster gently onto the sculpture, being careful to not erase all the detail you spent so much time doing and careful not to trap air bubbles. Next comes the burlap pieces...(about 8in. by 8 in. pieces) dunked into plaster and then layed and worked, gently, onto the previous layer of plaster.

Third - When you are done...let it dry according to the plaster instructions, then remove the waterclay dividing wall. There will now be a plaster wall where you painted plaster onto the waterclay dividing wall. Vaseline the plaster wall well and begin molding the second half, the back of the sculpture. Build up the plaster as it was done for the front half and let it dry completely. Don't open the mold until it goes completely through all of its temperature changes (it gets hot, then cold).

After all the curing is done next comes making the positive for painting, and if you are making a mask for mass production you should always make a really good master copy to put aside ( so as to make another rmold out of it later because a plaster mold won't last forever if it's used a lot. It will start to lose its definition and detail as you make more and more casts)

   Here the blue copies are made of Silicone and Polyfoam
and the tan copies are made of Latex and Polyfoam. The masks will be made from the Latex and Polyform materials.

   Here you see Jamie air-brushing in the final details on to the latex-poly mask.. First Jamie lays on Pax and Acrylic paints and finishes with the airbrush. The wood color is simulated with Raw and Burnt Siena, Raw and Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre and Red Oxide. Black is airbrushed in the hollows to accentuate the details. Lastly, the shine is reduced by brushing on Brown face powder.

Jamie Kelman created the "Tiki God" mask for Burman Industries. You can check out what kind of Make-up Effects products they sell and see other cool masks created by other really talanted artists at