For the past 2 years I have occasionally toyed with the idea of learning traditional Arte dei Machereri, or the art of mask making. The origins of this beautiful art are of course in Venice, but the repercussions of this art can be seen in everything from Mardi Gras to modeling and marketing.
So far I have created four successful masks, and several more that were complete and total failures. You can see some of my masks painted into one of the still life's that I have done in the Paintings section. Below are several do and don'ts when it comes to mask-making.
- Use an exacto knife
- sandpaper around the edges
- PLAN it out a little bit
- paint the back of the mask
- use very thin and tiny strips of paper on your last layer for a more delicate and smooth look
- use beads, sparkles, fabric around the edges if they are rough
- reinforce the area around the nasal bone with a lot of paper
- Pile on many many layers at once, let it dry a little then add some more
- Forget the sandpaper
- Take the mask off the form before it is completely dry
- forget the glaze (modge pogde or collage podge works fine)