Ghost Papa 3 Mask Conservation

A custom display bust for a stage-worn Ghost Papa 3 Mask

This original Ghost Papa 3 mask was sent to us for conservation and display work. Worn by the band’s singer, Tobias Forge, this bit of music history is a silicone pull-over mask that covered the singer’s full head, only exposing his ears. The mask was on a generic head form that did not fit perfectly, and between the improper fit and gravity tugging on the heavy silicone, it was beginning to droop and get severely out of shape. Over time, gravity’s effects would’ve cause extreme tears and degradation of the piece that may not have been easily reversible.

The first goal in our work was to create a custom shaped insert to help the mask keep its shape over time and help minimize the effects of gravity. With the client we discussed things like the addition of eyes or ears, and his goals for display. In this case, he opted for no eyes, to keep the focus on the prop mask itself and not the “character” so to speak. In creating the headform, we gave it the look of closed eyes with very little detail, visually completing that area but not competing for the viewer’s attention. 

Our lead artist on this project was Samantha Martino, herself a Ghost fan! In our New York studio, she carefully restored and reinforced several small tears around the eye and ear holes, and crafted a highly customized head made to fit perfectly inside the mask and support it in the shape it would’ve had when worn by Tobias Forge. In addition to the head form, she also created custom resin and epoxy ears, matched to Forge’s own ears. These are actually removable to allow the client to display the mask with or without them.

The form itself is a mix of resin, sculpted epoxy and vacu-form elements, along with a bit of collar area to support the mask’s bib. Black fabric coverings and a black riser complete the display form. The mask was then carefully mounted and adhered to this form, the best possible way to keep gravity’s effects at bay over time.

Our client for this conservation and display project is a huge fan of the band and the masks, and he was very invested in the process. He put up this great video review of our work for him.

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