The easiest way to describe this step is to show it rather than tell it. The mane on this lion mask is really the focal point of the new design. The mask will not have holes for leather cord or shoestrings to simulate the mane. Slots will be made around the perimeter of the mask and cut leather pieces will come out of the slots.
I went around the perimeter of the sculpt to mark where I wanted the leather mane pieces to be. Every mark overlaps so there should be no gaps in the mane.
Using sizing rods, I bent brass strips to match the marks around the base of the mask.
Here are the mane markers cut and ready to use. They will be pressed into the polymer clay mask before baking. They are just for marking the slots and will not be pushed all the way in. I have a Dremel bit to cut the slots once the mask is baked.