Some of the biggest challenges I had to overcome were during the casting and mould making process. This is understandable as I was new to the process, what I found that my designs all involved lots of harsh undercuts on detailed areas. To overcome this I learnt learning that by thickening latex each layer you paint you prevent the latex from dribbling in crevices and avoid the cast from becoming trapped. I also learnt that by hammering away large under cuts from the plaster shell you are able to preserve the design and keep elegant shapes without trapping the cast. I also learnt that by painting in thinner layers of jesmonite first into every nook and cranny ensures you capture all the detail. When I did my first jesmonite cast, I found very quickly that my details on my mask were very thin and were breaking. In future, I will remember to always keep my work at least 1cm thick throughout. And must remember to pop as many bubbles in the first layer as possible. As well as to scratch off wet jesmonite over spill before it sets to decrease clean-up time and effort.
If I had more time to develop the project I would continue experimenting with casting materials. Id especially like to continue working with latex as I thought it was a very easy material to work with. I am really pleased with the aesthetic of my final outcomes I feel the represent the character well and look spectacular in pictures. However, as the ask is attached to the horns it really needs to be cast in a lighter material. Jesmonite is still relatively lightweight but for a mask designed to be danced in it is still putting too much tension on the rest of the headpiece and I fear it would fall off during a full performance even if it is suitable and comfortable to wear in a calm setting. Id likes to try creating a latex shell and using expanding foam to create the solid shape whilst still remaining lightweight.
I am really pleased with the overall out come of my work for this project. Feel by exploring my past traditions I have given my work far more validity than it ever had and has solidified my own personal agenda and style. Looking forward my aim is to create a new performance each year to build my portfolio with both intimate performances like this one or large and dramatic performances like my dragon from last year. I want my niche within the field to be performing objects and costume but within that, I want to be able to showcase a wide range of skills and strengths. Whether that be intricate detail on masks and guise performances or large scale puppetry and mechanics.
The application process for festival performances have taught me a lot about what they are looking for in said performances and any rejection I have I have requested feedback and constructive criticism in order to better tailor my work to industry requirements. However, my success with applying for festival performances with the dragon this summer has filled me with a lot of hope that I can slowly build a name for myself within the industry one performance at a time.