Every few years we do a sculpture unit on mask-making, while studying cultural masks and the work of plaster gauze artist, George Segal (1924-2000). These are always SO much fun, and I'm always amazed by the way students take ownership of this project!
Full directions are on other pages of my website, but it begins with applying several layers of plaster gauze to form a cast over a student's face. In the past we used petroleum jelly between the face and the gauze, but now we use plastic wrap.
By the next day, the masks have hardened. Students use a hot glue gun to mount them on a 12" x 18" masonite board, and they use more plaster gauze to fill in any gaps between the mask and the board. As a next step, the masks and boards are coated with gesso.