If you want to a fun project, try making your own masquerade mask.
Masks possess an appeal for many people. Perhaps their mysterious nature invites us to hide parts of who we are while we develop talents we want to have.
I became intrigued with masks while I was developing my creativity and decided to make my own masks.
This first lesson will teach you how to make a clay mask that you can display as well as use as a mold for a plaster cloth mask, which is lighter to wear. Here is a suggested supply list:
- A mask
- Sculpey (lightweight clay you form and then bake in the oven)
- Clay sculpting tools for cutting and forming
- A clay pot to place the mask on while baking
- Basic acrylic paints are my daughter’s favorite (try some metallic colors)
- Craft glue
- Scrapbook papers for cutting out shapes and designs
- Braided lace, feathers, and beads for accents
- Wax paper
- Cutting mat
- A mask
- Tin foil
- An instrument for carving
Follow these simple instructions to design a clay mask:
Step 1: Soften a lump of clay the size of a softball by kneading it with your hands. Press the clay onto a flat surface. Use a piece of wax paper to keep the clay from sticking. Then roll the clay flat until it is 1/8 inch thick, using a cylinder-shaped object .
Step 2: Mold the clay onto an existing mask, sculpt the clay on your face, or carve out a design on a flat surface.
If you mold the clay using a mask, trim around the mask.
If you use your own face, gently indent the clay in the shape you want. Afterwards, you can cut through the clay on a cutting mat.You can also sculpt the mask on a cutting mat.
Step 3: Place the mask on a clay pot. Heat the oven to 250 degrees and place the pot with the mask into the oven. Make sure you prop up the nose with a ball of foil.
Step 4: Cook the mask for 15-20 minutes, depending upon how hot your oven gets.
Step 5: Remove the mask and let the mask cool for an hour
Step 10: Decorate the mask using paint and/or mixed media items.
Step 10: Add embellishments. My daughter, Andrea, sculpted this mask, Warrior Princess. Then my other daughter, Elya, created the mixed media artwork. Finally, I added the feathers.
Then this mask inspired a poem…
and a painting…
that “Somerset Studio THE ART OF PAPER AND MIXED MEDIA” magazine published on the “Letters to the Editor” page:
You never know where a masquerade mask project will take your creative journey!
The next post will feature how to create a plaster cloth mask, using the clay mask from this lesson.
If you would like more creative inspiration and tips on how to develop and manage your creative life, check out my book, Refrain from the Identical: Insight and Inspiration for Creative Eclectics.
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