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  The first LMC-FXWarehouseInc mask making seminar was a trumpeting success.  Ok, I had to say that to psyche you up for the 2nd seminar, but I think it was nonetheless.  We had 3 eager participants from the 4 corners of the globe.  Err, I mean the 3 corners of the globe.  Well, 2 were from the US and one was from Mexico.  I think Mexico has a corner there somewhere.

The organization of this seminar was top notch, as evidenced by the first day when I went to pick up Nathan from his hotel and he had already taken a taxi to FXWarehouse.  That's ok, because I got a free towel and a couple of those little soaps from his hotel room (shhh, don't tell Nathan).

Thea had the shop setup perfectly.  Three cheers to Thea for making this a heck of alot easier by providing us with room and materials!  Heck, we'll give her four cheers.

Everyone found their way to the shop (eventually), and we set out to get started.  After a thorough, world class explanation of just what it takes to make a mask,  the crowd was literally in awe.  Gaping jaws at the wonderment of what those early pioneers such as Don Post must have gone through was not an uncommon site.  Well, maybe we didn't discuss Don Post that much and maybe gaping jaws was just a slight bit of drool from the donuts, but you get the point.   The first order of the day was to get everyone sculpting.  I convinced everyone to try out WED clay (a water based clay that rocks).  Most were easily persuaded.  I only had to put Nathan in a headlock once before he obliged.  Guillermo (further known as the Big 'G') wanted to try Roma because that's all he has to work with in Mexico.  Well, the lack of a microwave and/or an oven soon had Big 'G' using a heat gun to soften the clay.  Let's just say Big 'G' was motivated to move back to WED and I didn't have to apply any wrestling moves.

The sculpting was moving along at a quick pace.  Clay was flying, tales of our misspent youth were flowing (oops, I shouldn't mention that,  sorry Kevin).  Sculpting is one of those things where the hours just literally fly by.   Before we knew it, the week was up and no one had bothered to tell us to stop sculpting.  Wait a minute,  I should say the day was up.  Right, the day was up not the week.  Kevin had mentioned countless times on Monday he was really worried that the long distance drive to come out was putting alot of wear and tear on his van.  That and the fact his transmission fell out on the hiway had him really concerned.

Tuesday came and I got another set of towels and soap from Nathan's room.  Everyone showed up on time, everyone that is but Kevin.  For those more perceptive readers, you may recall that I brought to light Kevin's car troubles.  Don't worry if you can't remember, it's only a sentence or two above this one.  Well, his transmission really was kaput and he wasn't going to make it.  If you are going to miss any day of this world class training, I suppose the 2nd sculpting day was the best.  All we were doing on Tuesday was sculpt, sculpt, sculpt (and maybe a headlock or two).  That's exactly what we did.  By the end of Tuesday, we had some pretty fine looking sculpts.  Well, Kevin's was slightly behind the pace, but I tossed a little clay on his armature to give him something to mold.

Wednesday was the day of dread aka molding day.  I laid in my bed all night on Tuesday in the fetal position rocking back and forth wondering how the heck we were going to get through this. When I shut my eyes, all I could see was Big 'G' laying on the ground in a pool of plaster, while Nathan was head first in the bag of ultracal.  I summoned up my reserve of strength and headed out to get another towel and soap from Nathan's room.  Ummm...I mean to the shop. 

My worries were for naught because the molding went smooth as silk.  We decided to sculpt more on Wednesday, so we split the molding into 2 days: back half on Wednesday and the other half on Thursday.  All molds opened with no problems!!! Wow!  Who'd a thunk it?  Every mask artist gets a tinge of excitement when they successfully pull open a mold.  It's almost as good as that three letter word, well you know what I mean. 

We had to move quickly because we also had to cast in these molds on Thursday so we could have them ready to paint on Friday.  Everyone cleaned out their molds and did any necessary repair work.  Now we were ready to slush in the latex.   For you perceptive readers, you may recall my fear of Nathan falling into the bag of ultracal.  Not to worry, he fell into a bucket of latex.  Well, he didn't fall as much as his mold fell and he dove in after it.  Ok, maybe it wasn't a full pail, but there was latex involved and we did get dirty. 

While the latex dwelled, we set off to learn the fine art of how to remove clogs from your airbrush aka airbrushing with latex paint.  I had some scrap masks to tinker with and everyone went at it.   I brought home everyone's mold so I could pull the latex copies out that night so they could cure for Friday.

Friday came and we were all excited to finally paint our own masks.  Well, Kevin was partially excited and I don't think Nathan was outwardly showing excitement, Big 'G' seemed indifferent.  Heck, maybe I was the only one excited.  We spent Friday learning about what paints will kill you and what paints will frustrate you, as well as what paints won't work at all.  We all settled on our own favorite paints and got to it.  I threw in some info on adding hair to your masks and why most artists do bald heads and we called it a day.

Of course you will want to see pictures.  I want to thank Kevin, Big 'G' and Nathan(thanks for the pics too!) for coming to this life enriching class and of course Thea for putting up with us and for providing a great place to hold the seminar.

  This is Thea's training room BEFORE we got to it.  It doesn't look like this anymore :(
  Here you will find some sculpts in progress.  Big 'G's work nearest to you and Kevin's off in the distance.
  Nathan's work in progress.
  Molding day.  That's me trying to figure out how I got my hand stuck in Big 'G's mold.  Some vaseline and a shot of morphine later, I was ok.
  THIS IS IT!  Big 'G's mold is opening!  One of the finest moments in my life sniffle sniffle.
  The front half of Nathan's sculpt.  You won't be able to see the back of the sculpt because it is covered in plaster.
  Here is everyone's blank pull.  All the work is justified.
  Another such shot in the great outdoors.
  You will want to paint it at some point.  Here I am showing them the fine art of how to cover yourself in paint while hoping the mask also gets a little color on it.
  Kevin looking like a Hollywood pro there.
  The finished masks!  Yeah, Big 'G' got a nice vampire looking thingie there.  Great job!
  Kevin is nearing completion on his bloody dude.  Excellent work!
  Nathan's extremly excellent Sentinel sculpt.  Wow! That's one nice looking mask!