On December 11, 2010, my friend Lynati stole my face.
More specifically, she did a cast of my head for a project she was working on. It was interesting and a bit terrifying and I only caught some of it in photographs…but here’s my version of what happened.
Lynati mixing plaster of paris and VERY VERY COLD WATER
I apparently looked pissed off a LOT during this process.
(We attempted to contain my hair with a shower cap and a bathing cap. My hair is sentient so this didn’t work as well as it should have. Which is entirely the fault of my hair, I assure you.)
We covered my face, neck, and ears in Vaseline. Because we surely do know how to party on a Saturday night.
The back of my head, covered in plaster of paris.
(This felt really heavy..and then weird as the plaster warmed up and started hardening, pulling at my skin.)
At this point, my phone was taken from me so I couldn’t twitter any more whining about how friggin’ COLD that crap was, nor could I take any more pictures. Which is fine because the next step involved sticking tubes up my nose and covering my face in alginate..and I’m not actually sure I want to see that. 0_o
COLD COLD COLD. And not as claustrophobic as I thought it might be. Though there’s some…you become very very focused on breathing. I kept playing with the globs of stuff that were falling off of my face, in part to show that yes, I was still alive.
Then one of my breathing tubes fell out. I panicked a little bit, I admit.
Then the next layer of plaster started. “You probably won’t feel how cold this is,” I was assured. Not quite true, but not as cold as the first layer had been.
But what’s really friggin’ weird is staying still while someone is slathering isolating layers of plaster on your head. Will you be able to get back out of this? You suddenly feel very vulnerable. I couldn’t help but wonder how this was used during, say, the Inquisition…and really, if it was? I’m not sure I want to know, because my mind is already spinning out some pretty horrible ‘what if?’ scenarios.
I think the whole process of turning my head into a cast took..an hour and a half? Maybe? And was infinitely messier than I’d anticipated. (Fortunately, Lynati knew EXACTLY how messy this was going to get.)
And then I could hear her trying to describe what she was doing to free my head, but..I couldn’t really hear her. I did hear her say to start moving my facial muscles to loosen up the alginate, which was an innnnteresting feeling.
And then we realized that my friggin’ hair was very very caught up in the plaster and we had to cut and struggle to get me out. Friggin’ hair. I did of course immediately start whining that she and her cast was scalping me, because I am a joy, a friggin’ JOY, to work with, oh yes I am.
See how joyful?
“Mm, I have her face AND her scalp!”
…All joking aside, this was a really REALLY nifty experience and I’m so so glad I got to do this! I may have had vaseline in my ears for the next week and sneezed sculptures for…a while, but it was nifty!
The reason for all of this was that Lynati was creating a mask for me that remains one of my most favourite possessions.