BRUNSWICK — Art is created with many different mediums, including some that people don’t often know how to use.
Recently, students in Nicole Kapish’s seventh and eighth-grade art classes at Visintainer Middle School created plaster molds of their faces.
The students covered their partner’s face in damp paper towels and created openings for their noses so they could breathe during the mask process. The nose opens were covered with plaster after the mask dried. The plaster strips were then dipped in water and the bumps were smoothed out. Then the masks were removed and dried.
“In my classroom, I try to introduce students to a variety of art-making processes and materials that they might not get to experience otherwise,” Kapish said, noting that even though plaster is available at most craft stores, it isn’t widely used.
Masks were decorated to reflect a student’s culture and heritage or a period in art history. Students were encouraged to research their own culture and choose aspects to place on their mask.
Kapish was inspired to create this project not only for the chance to give her students a unique experience, but also to promote the study of masks around the world.
For some, having your face plastered could be a terrifying or claustrophobic experience.
“As the students were working, we had music playing quietly,” Kapish explained. “It’s a calm environment that really helped to ease the tension. Most everyone who ended up casting, in the end, told me that it was not bad at all and that it was actually kind of relaxing.”
Students also had the option to plaster on a face mold if they were hesitant to plaster themselves, Kapis said.
Elle Carlisle is an eighth-grader at Visintainer Middle School.