Whalechaser's Musings

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Masking Things Over

The local library got together with a local art therapist and the result was a two day paper mache mask making extravaganza. It was clear that some of us had worked with this medium before, it was a first for me and while it was a lot of fun it was also a little intimidating because everything about it was counter-intuitive for me. We started with a glob of clay and were supposed to make an inverted image of the mask that would be the finished product. I did not take nearly enough clay to produce a mask of any depth, so I ended up fashioning what was to be a sunflower face...
My flat little face made of clay was the form for the paper mache that was glued over the form and then left to dry. Once dry, the mask is removed from the clay form and the painting can begin. Here you see the clay form in the foreground and the paper mache mask in the background.
My friend Carol was having a good time and used some brilliant colors to bring out the features that showed the character in her mask. As we started to finish with the painting and then adding the cloth, nets, feathers, streamers etc., our instructor Joanne Kaminsky went to work creating a head-band that the mask is attached to and is suspended in front of the face instead of being banded right on your face like a Halloween mask. I thought that was pretty cool, it allows for placing the opening for the eyes anywhere instead of right there on each side of the nose. On a very large mask, the eye openings could be in the nose nostrils.
So here is my mask, it turned out looking like a sun-flower-chocolate chip cookie; I guess you have to use your imagination to see the specks as sunflower seeds!
You never know who will show up for these sorts of things. This lady who sat directly opposite me looked SO familiar. It took a while and then it hit me! She was the lady who massaged my sore body after I had fallen off the roof at the Habitat for Humanity project in Lafayette, Louisiana! I guess it doesn't matter what the job is...there is always stress.
Fatima had some very colorful interpretations to include in her mask!
It was a lot of fun and now that I learned a little bit about mask making I have been thinking that maybe...just maybe I would like to try it again! This time with a little more know-how before I start. And so, yesterday, Carol asked if I was interested in trying another mask, she wants to do another and she is recruiting all her friends. Wonder what my imagination will come up with this time?!

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