I've been meaning to do a post on this for a while. Plaster is a magnificent thing. Perhaps you think that the apex of plaster casting was your kindergarten handprint in a pie plate, or perhaps you've followed the exploits of Cynthia Plaster Caster (come to think of it...that just might be the apex of plaster casting). Many of you probably know about the practice of "life casting", whereby actors have their faces cast in plaster so that makeup artists can develop prostehetics. My friend Nick owns a huge collection of masks, and there's something amazing about being nose to nose with Barbara Streisand, or staring down the pores of Ed Wood star Tor Johnson (pictured above). Lifemask afficianados buy, sell, and trade the things with great gusto, and you'd be surprised what you can find on eBay. Deathmasks are also widely traded--you can get Thomas Edison, John Dillinger, or a host of other gruesome souvenirs. If anybody knows where I can get my hands on a Buddy Hackett lifemask, pleeeeeeeease let me know.