ANYways. Here's the tutorial video by Unhinged Productions I found that was the most useful. I should also note I have serious workshop envy of this guy. *drool*
Because if this works I would haul out all my nice skulls and use them so that I could do batches. But I may be getting ahead of myself. The next step is to wait (at least) 24 hours for the layers to dry out. I also need to factor that kind of time in as well--waiting day(s) between applications might drag the process out. Lots of factors to evaluate on whether this is going to be a project.
I found a phone book and so had access to stacks of lovely contrast paper, which made coverage of the second layer of mache much easier. Now it's just a matter of waiting for the second layer to dry before the hardest step--to cut the pieces off the skull and reassemble them.
The hardest step of taking off the mache and then reassembling the skull was done today. I wanted to wait long enough that the skulls would be completely dry to have the best chance of being taken off as easily as possible. The first skull (on the right without the jaw) slipped off surprisingly easy, especially the face. I had been warned in the tutorial that the face was the hardest to work off, but I was pleasantly surprised that it came with barely a few tugs. I'm not sure if this was due to the different shaped skull, or the way I cut it though. More experimentation may need to be done. The jaw was a little trickier, and tore a bit in a few places. But I was able to use a bit of tape to patch them up.
The second skull was much harder to peel back. The back of the head and the bottom of the skull came off easily enough. But the front face was a bit of a constant struggle. The trick is tugging hard enough to make progress but not hard enough that you'll rip the paper and undo several days worth of work. I used the palette knife quite a bit to use for leverage and just made my way around the face, trying to find that one sticking place that was keeping it from coming off. Finally, half of the face kind of broke free and I was finally able to get some real leverage. Reassembling the skulls was pretty easy, especially having numbered them and they were only in four pieces. I still have yet to paper mache over the tape lines, but I'm still debating how much I want to devote to doing many of these.