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High [9th-12th] Lesson Plan

Plaster Cloth Masks

Created on August 07, 2014 by StephieArtTeacher

Students will learn how to design, mold, and sculpt a mask made out of durable plaster cloth. This is a group project and takes about 2 weeks to complete.

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10 sessions; 50 minutes per session

1. SWBAT use elements of art to design a creative mask.
2. SWBAT know the steps and demonstrate how to effectively mold a mask with plaster cloth.
3. SWBAT to decorate and correctly paint the mask to finish it once materials have dried.

1. Rolls of plaster cloth. (Depending on class size, but I use 32 rolls for about 50 students. Buy in bulk at online art supply stores.)
2. 4 large bowls of warm water.
3. Vaseline
4. Trash bags
5. Rubber bands
6. Paper towels
7. Acrylic paints
8. Note cards
9. Sharpies
10. Brushes
11. Decorative items
12. Hot glue
13. Plastic Wrap
14. Scissors
Optional: Non drying clay, paper mache materials for add ons.

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

1. Put students in groups of 3-4.
2. Students will sketch out a design of the mask they wish to create.
3.Students will take turns molding a person's mask on their face. The person whose turn it is will put Vaseline on eyebrows and all exposed hair on their face (side burns, eyelashes if eyes are being covered, etc).
4. Group members will tie back head hair and then wrap plastic wrap around it to keep it clean and away from the plaster.
5. Group members will cut a hole in the top of a large trash bag and then put it over the person getting masked and have them sit down.
6. Group members will cut various sizes of the plaster cloth and sort them into piles.
7. Dipping each strip carefully into warm water and rubbing it with fingers, students will look at the person's design and mold it onto their face, layering 3-4 layers for thickness. Teacher should check for thickness.
8. Once molded, the mask will dry until it is warm to the touch. A cold mask indicates it's still wet.
9. The teacher will carefully pull the mask off and have student squish their face while it is being pulled.
10. Let the masks dry and have student go wash up. *Must complete the molding stage within one class period per, you can't start it then pick it up the next day. It takes about a week to get all 50 of my students molded, broken up about 18 kids per class.
11. Let mask dry for a few days so it's good and strong. Let students paint with acrylics or bring in feathers and jewels to decorate it.
12. Optional: If students wish to add things like horns, large ears, etc... have them use non drying clay to mold the piece, then wrap clay in plastic wrap, paper mache over it exposing one side, they once dried pull clay out and you are left with a hollow extension that can be hot glued onto mask.
13. Elastic straps can be hot glued on if the mask is wearable.
14. Optional: Throw in lessons on the history of masks while they are making these so it's very educational and interesting!

Students will be assessed based on their ability to work consistently in a group, to follow all instructions on the process, and their creativity in making their mask.

This sounds complicated but it really isn't and the students absolutely love doing this. I have been making these for about 7 years and the results are great! Have so much fun doing this!


Visual Arts Standard 1:
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

[9-12 Proficient] Students apply media, techniques, and processes with sufficient skill, confidence, and sensitivity that their intentions are carried out in their artworks
[9-12 Advanced] Students initiate, define, and solve challenging visual arts problems independently using intellectual skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation
[9-12 Advanced] Students communicate ideas regularly at a high level of effectiveness in at least one visual arts medium

Visual Arts Standard 2:
Using knowledge of structures and functions

[9-12 Proficient] Students evaluate the effectiveness of artworks in terms of organizational structures and functions

Visual Arts Standard 6:
Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines

[9-12 Proficient] Students compare characteristics of visual arts within a particular historical period or style with ideas, issues, or themes in the humanities or sciences

Abstract Expressionism, African Art, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Asian Art, Conceptual Art, Impressionism, Realism, Renaissance

Balance, Color/Value, Contrast, Emphasis, Form, Movement, Proportion/Size, Shape, Texture, Unity/Harmony, Variety

Acrylic, Painting, Paper Mache, Plaster, Sculpture

Performing Arts