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masks-msg - 9/26/04

 

Theatrical masks. Period and modern.

 

NOTE: See also the files: theater-msg, theater-bib, jesters-msg, puppets-msg, leather-msg, masque-msg, masks-mumming-lnks, Mask-Making-art, P-Polit-Songs-art.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given by the individual authors.

 

Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

************************************************************************

 

From: dolge at lib.wfunet.wfu.EDU (brian dolge)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re:  SCA Digest V6 #234

Date: 2 Apr 1993 10:57:18 -0500

 

Unto the folk of the Rialto doth Aaron Exile send wishes for all health and

happiness.

 

      Geoffrey Scrymger asked about masks, masques, and the construction of both. Being amoung the theatrically impaired I can only help with the first, and

that by way of reference. Try *The Propbuilders Mask Making Handbook* by James

Thurston (Betterway Pub., 1990, ISBN 1-55870-167). It includes some general

mask making guidelines, information on a working with a variety of period and

modern materials (including paper mache, clay, metal, plaster and something

called "friendly plastic" the details of which I did not inquire about).

Of particular interest is a section on the comedia, it's charecters and

conventions, including illustrations of actual period masks. The author also

attended a workshop at an Italian mask makers shop and gives an excellent

discription of the methods used there to make leather masks. The book is well written and heavily illustrated.

     

      Aaron Exile         Brian Dolge

      Shire of Hindscroft  Winston-Salem N.C.

Atlantia           dolge at lib.wfunet.wfu.edu

 

 

From: katieroz at aol.com (KatieRoz)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: masks

Date: 26 Jun 1994 10:27:02 -0400

 

001482e at axe.acadiau.ca (WANDA ERNST) writes:

 

In the "Book of Costume" by Millia Davenport, there are a few

references to their use and one Dutch c1610 picture entitled "Fleshly

Disguises" on pg 443 which shows women wearing masks and gives a

paragraph on their use during the time.

Check his bibliography also since it contains books on accessories.

 

Lady Katherine Symmonds

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: ejuv64 at castle.ed.ac.uk (B Webb)

Subject: Re: masks

Organization: University of Edinburgh

Date: Mon, 27 Jun 1994 08:21:39 GMT

 

001482e at axe.acadiau.ca (WANDA ERNST) writes:

>     I have been attempting to locate information on the use of masks in

>medieval/renaissance culture, and have had little luck. The only references

 

There are some articles by Sarah Carpenter and Meg Twycross (sp?) on

this very subject, though I'm afraid I don't have the exact reference

here (I'm in a different country from my copy!). Sarah Carpenter is at

the University of Edinburgh, she gave us a talk last year that was very

good, with references to records of how masks were made and maintained

in royal households (e.g. how much they paid the gilder, whether new

hair was needed, stuff like that). She said they were writing a book on

the subject but I don't know if that is available yet.

 

Hope that helps,

Caitlin de Courcy

 

 

From: gheston at nyx10.cs.du.edu (Gary Heston)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: life masks

Date: 18 May 1995 21:18:27 -0600

 

In article <01HQMQC3ZIQU9I9MLJ at delphi.com>, <ALBAN at delphi.COM> wrote:

>i'm working on a small project for decorating my house, for which i

>need information on the making of life masks. most of my sources

>seem to use plaster of paris over the face, buyt most every box

>of plaster of paris says it produces heat and is therefore very, very

>not good for putting on skin long enough for it to solidify. so, i wonder,

>is there anyone out there in the vast wasterland, er, wonderland of

>the rialto that has any experience in doing real live masks of

>people?

 

First, you have to put a "release compound" on the faces prior to

applying the mould material. Trying to peel plaster of paris off

of your face without having the release compound tends to take

skin with it.

 

Second, apply a few thin layers over the release so you don't

dissipate too much heat on the persons' face, then build up the

back of the mask with layers of gauze and more plaster.

--

Gary Heston  gheston at nyx.cs.du.edu gary at cdthq.uucp uunet!sci34hub!cdthq!gary

 

 

From: corun at access4.digex.net (Corun MacAnndra)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: life masks

Date: 19 May 1995 06:49:30 -0400

Organization: Express Access Online Communications, Greenbelt, MD USA

 

In article <3ph2m3$qk2 at nyx10.cs.du.edu>,

Gary Heston <gheston at nyx10.cs.du.edu> wrote:

>

>First, you have to put a "release compound" on the faces prior to

>applying the mould material. Trying to peel plaster of paris off

>of your face without having the release compound tends to take

>skin with it.

>

>Second, apply a few thin layers over the release so you don't

>dissipate too much heat on the persons' face, then build up the

>back of the mask with layers of gauze and more plaster.

 

Please! Do NOT put plaster of paris on the face to make a lief mask. Not

even over a release agent. This is not how the process is done, and can

be very harmful. Use Alginate, get a stage makeup book, and/or talk to

someone who has had personal experience in this process.

 

Please read my previous post on this subject.

 

In service,

Corun

===============================================================================

   Corun MacAnndra   | This is a little souvenir I picked up on Mangus III.

Dark Horde by birth | That was setting one. Anyone want to see setting two?

   Moritu by choice  |                                         Guinan

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: life masks

From: amethysta at eric.stonemarche.org (Amethysta of Kensingto)

Date: Tue, 16 May 95 02:51:48 EDT

 

Alban writes:

> i'm working on a small project for decorating my house, for which i

> need information on the making of life masks. most of my sources

> seem to use plaster of paris over the face, buyt most every box

> of plaster of paris says it produces heat and is therefore very, very

> not good for putting on skin long enough for it to solidify. so, i wonder,

> is there anyone out there in the vast wasterland, er, wonderland of

> the rialto that has any experience in doing real live masks of

> people?

 

There's something you can get in almost any craft store, at least

in craft stores around here, and it's made for doing masks. It's a

material that has a plaster-of-paris-like substance inbedded in it. It's

supposed to be a lot like what they make casts (as in for broken bones)

out of. I've seen it sold in strips and sheets.

        You take this material and dip it in water. Then you can put it

on a face, or shape it any way you want. I think it dries in about ten

minutes. I don't think we put anything over the face before putting this

stuff on it. The only problem we had with it is that the outer surface

tended to be a bit bumpy.

        Let me know if you can't find any in craft stores in your area,

and if you want, I could pick you up some.

        Amethysta

 

 

From: msilver at eita8net.COM

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Life Masks

Date: 20 May 1995 14:37:08 -0400

 

This may be a little more involved than you want to get

into, but this is how we made masks when I worked

professionally in technical theatre. Here goes:

 

First, instead of using plaster of paris, venture forth

and find ye a medical supply house and buy some cast

gauze. It already has plaster in it, and is not bad to

work with. Also locate some big drinking straws and

vaseline. Prepare the cast material by cutting it into

strips about 4 to 6 inches long. (Usually, the shorter the

better, but it makes more work...) Get a pan of lukewarm

water, and a helper.

 

In a general vein, the person being cast needs to hold as

still and natural as possible.  There is heat buildup, but

it is not dangerous. The person may be uncomfortable, but

will not have any burns as a result.  More importantly, do

_NOT_ try to do this with someone who is claustrophobic.

They will more than likely have a panic attack, and you

still won't have a mask! This procedure makes the person

expend a fair amount of effort and concentration on

breathing, and that, combined with the facial covering,

can drive  even a mildly claustrophobic person to the

edge.

 

Then find your first victi... er, volunteer.  Cover their

face in vaseline, paying special attention to any hair.

(Speaking of hair, beards, etc, don't cast well with this

method.) Vaseline may be hard to wash out, but plaster is

worse if you want a mask out at the end.  Have the

sacrifice arrange themself in as comfortable a position as

possible with their face up and parallel with the floor.  

Get the helper to dip the strips and hand them to you as

you apply them to the face. Overlap the pieces, work

quickly, and smooth the strips to the skin as you go.  

When you get close to the nose and mouth, decide which you

want to finesse later, and stick a straw in the

appropriate hole(s). Cover the entire area you want a mask

for (plus an inch or two for damage)to a depth of about

3/16 to 1/4 inch. Allow to set.

 

When it is hard enough to stand the handling, remove from

the person's face, being careful not to distort the cast.

Point out to the brave soul the way to the local showers

and towels. Set aside on some sort of supportive blocking

for several hours to allow the plaster to finish setting.

 

Once the plaster is set, cover in the holes left by the

straw(s). Then liberally coat the inside with a "release

compound" - our friend vaseline works well here, too.

Support the cast so it will hold liquid without spreading

out, then fill with plaster or some other set media.  Let

this set for several days, depending on the media. When

set, you can release the cast from the image.  You can use

the image as the finished product, or you can go on and

build masks on this "face" using basically the same

techniques used to make the cast.  Masks made in this

fashion are very functional, and if made with OOP

materials like <wince> latex and J-cloth will move with

the wearer's face!  

 

One benefit to making more masks is that you can make as

many masks from that one cast as you want, provided you

are careful with the "face". If you are going for

fantastic masks, you can add the additional elements to

the mask without distorting the fit, ie adding goat's

horn, overemphasized eyebrows, etc.

 

Good luck!

-------------------------------------------------

Michael Silver        msilver at hp9000.eita8net.com

         Lacombe, Alberta, Canada

-------------------------------------------------

 

 

From: corun at access4.digex.net (Corun MacAnndra)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: life masks

Date: 22 May 1995 10:06:53 -0400

Organization: Express Access Online Communications, Greenbelt, MD USA

 

In article <29L75c3w165w at eric.stonemarche.org>,

Amethysta of Kensingto <amethysta at eric.stonemarche.org> wrote:

>        There's something you can get in almost any craft store, at least

>in craft stores around here, and it's made for doing masks. It's a

>material that has a plaster-of-paris-like substance inbedded in it. It's

>supposed to be a lot like what they make casts (as in for broken bones)

>out of. I've seen it sold in strips and sheets.

 

These are plaster bandages, and are put over the Alginate, NOT on the face

directly.

 

Please, please, please!!! Do not put plaster of paris or plaster bandages

directly onto your face. Talk to the theatre department of your local

University, professional makeup artists or your local theatrical supply

outlet.

 

If you're going to do this, PLEASE do it right! I have used Alginate in a

professional setting for theatrical makeup and I know what I'm talking about.

 

In service,

Corun

===============================================================================

   Corun MacAnndra   | This is a little souvenir I picked up on Mangus III.

Dark Horde by birth | That was setting one. Anyone want to see setting two?

   Moritu by choice  |                                         Guinan

 

 

From: NEFERTITI <gina at delphi.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: life masks

Date: Wed, 24 May 95 22:53:40 -0500

 

Greetings milord Corun,

After having given my advice, and then having read all of your posts, I

wish to agree with you, however, from my personal experience, life mask

casting with Plaster of Paris is not impossible, nor is it VERY BAD.  I

grant you it is not nearly as good as Alginate (Thank you...I could not

think of that to save my life!) but it does work. Alginate is most

definitely better!  Being somewhat flexible, it is certainly easier to

remove than plaster.

In all things else, we agree totally, and your advice is very sound...but

then, I am a serious risk-taker *big Grin*...not necessarily to recommended

for the uninitiated!

BTW, where did you study and work...and why did you give it up?  Theatre I

mean?  Just curious. <G>.  I gave it up 20 years ago...for marriage.  In

retrospect I should have said no to marriage, and kept the theatre!! <G>.

In your service,

Ingeborg

 

 

From: NEFERTITI <gina at delphi.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: life masks

Date: Wed, 24 May 95 22:38:01 -0500

 

<ALBAN at delphi.COM> writes:

>i'm working on a small project for decorating my house, for which i

>need information on the making of life masks. most of my sources

>seem to use plaster of paris over the face, buyt most every box

>of plaster of paris says it produces heat and is therefore very, very

>not good for putting on skin long enough for it to solidify. so, i wonder,

Greetings milord Alban from Ingeborg Synnove av Viken,

Regardless of what the box says, Plaster of Paris *can* be used successfully

for life mask casting.  I had it done myself a number of years ago and

I didn't find it uncomfortably hot.  Yes, it does get warm, and it is

imperative that you keep your "victim" (?) comfortable and calm because it

does take a while to set.  It probably is not VERY good for the skin, but

it is not very, very bad...from my experience.

I do suggest that you 1) obtain a book on theatrical make-up techniques...

a good one.  I found one the other day in a used bookstore that was the

very same textbook we used when I was in theatre school. A lot of them do

explain how to do a life mask.  2) Before you apply the Plaster of Paris,

if that is what you will use...be sure to liberally coat the eyebrows,

eyelashes, sideburns, or whatever facial hair to make sure the plaster does

not remove it when it hardens...*very painful*!  3) Check a dental supply

house in your area...they carry several different products which are useful

in making life masks.  One is molding material that they use for dental

impressions...sorry, can't remember the name...and the other is dental stone.

It is like Plaster of Paris, but it gets very, very hard, and is durable.

It is used for making the positive after you have your negative cast.  4)

It is very important that your victim be able to breathe for the 15 minutes

or so the plaster is hardening.  We used soda straws (large ones) in the

nostrils.  Please sure that you stay right with the person that is wearing

the plaster, and calm them and talk to them.  Some people get very, very

panicy with something the consistency of thick mud all over their face.  Also,

be sure to do the mouth area last to give them a many stress free minutes

as possible...and be sure to caution them not to move their face.  Avoid

making them laugh.  It will ruin your work.  Use a latex bald pate (avail-

able in any theatrical costume shop) to protect the hair, and don't put the

plaster to far back onto the ears....it will be hell to get off!

Hope this helps!  If you need more information, I will try to accomodate.

Ingeborg Synnove av Viken

 

 

From: kkozmins at mtholyoke.edu (Kim C Kozminski)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: life masks

Date: 26 May 1995 17:48:18 GMT

Organization: Mount Holyoke College

 

      You can use plaster bandages, rather than plaster itself for

making a face-casting, you can also use a material called "Moulage" which

is a soft rubber that can be reused, I've had good sucess with both.  

Having been on the "Victim" side of castings with both alginate and

plaster bandages I found the bandages much more comfortable than having

that cold iccky glop poured down my face.

      If you worried about plaster bandages (or Alginate) damaging

skin, do a patch test on the inside of the wrist first.  When using

bandages put moisturizer on first, then petrolium jelly on eye-brows,

hair-line and facial hair.  Make sure there is no beard stubble! this

really stings when the cast comes off.  I usually use a cap made from an

old nylon stocking to cover hair.  I was taught in grad school to simple

be careful of the nostrils, and not cover them, the subject can blow

excess plaster out of his nose if necessary.  You can also use straws,

but they are wicked uncomfortable.

      The advantage of using bandages is that they are easy to obtain

(any medical supply place has them) cheap, and they do not heat up much.  

They also take only about 10 minutes to dry and they are light wieght.  

to make a positive casting fill the nostrils in with modeling clay, make

a "nest of newspaper for the casting in a plastic dish-pan, and pour the

plaster into the cast.  Bob Kelly (theatrical make-up) has a decent

video of this process.  His company is located in NYC.

      I've taught make-up and mask-making at two colleges and used this

process extensively for mask-making, so far I;ve had no complaints of

damaged skin, one woman even said it improve her complextion!

            Good luck!

                  KC

 

kc/Roen

 

 

From: lynx at shakala.com (Lynx ShadoPanther)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: life masks

Date: Tue, 30 May 95 22:57:23 PDT

Organization: Shakala BBS (ClanZen Radio Network) Sunnyvale, CA +1-408-734-2289

 

NEFERTITI <gina at delphi.com> writes:

> <ALBAN at delphi.COM> writes:

> >i'm working on a small project for decorating my house, for which i

> >need information on the making of life masks. most of my sources

> >seem to use plaster of paris over the face, buyt most every box

> >of plaster of paris says it produces heat and is therefore very, very

> >not good for putting on skin long enough for it to solidify. so,

>  

> Greetings milord Alban from Ingeborg Synnove av Viken,

>  

> Regardless of what the box says, Plaster of Paris *can*

> be used successfully

> for life mask casting.  I had it done myself a number of years ago and

> I didn't find it uncomfortably hot.  Yes, it does get warm, and it is

>>imperative that you keep your "victim" (?) comfortable and calm because

>it does take a while to set. It probably is not VERY good for the

>skin, but it is not very, very bad...from my experience.

> it is not very, very bad...from my experience.

>  

> I do suggest that you 1) obtain a book on theatrical make-up techniques.

 

Greetings gentles,

I am still a lurker mostly & not yet a member of the Society... however,

I thought that perhaps a couple comments from recently observed life

cast demo (panel, BayCon, experienced costumers) might be welcome.

 

1. I second the above suggestion on theatrical techniques.

2. In watching the demo... First they started by gluing down with medical

adhesive, a laytex skull cap, to the "victim's" forehead & cheeks. She

also used straws for breathing (tho through the mouth). Next, they

covered the full front of her face in a material called Alginate. (They

stressed reading the directions 2x before mixing & keeping the bowls for

mixing the alginate permantly seperate from the ones with the plaster of

paris!) The Alginate went on rather like pancake batter. (It may be

available from Dental supply or Theatrical supply if I am remembering

correctly.)  ...After that set so it was no longer runny (note: it also

feels cold even after "drying"). ...Then they used plaster of paris

soaked bandages to give the alginate mold hardness. ...These were gotten

from a medical supply company (cheaper than at the theatrical supply)

(Same type as used for casts.)  I think they put on about 3 layers.

...And little strips around the straw holes.  Setting of the plaster

was indicated my heat & hardness. (It was described as comforting as a

facial & quite good for the pores of the skin.)  After the plaster

hardened, the straws were removed & the "victim" leaned forward to remove

the mask. (Note: before removing the straws she was told to gently wiggle

parts of her face to loosen it from the alginate. ----And yes, a layer of

vaseline was recommended for beards & moustaches so you wouldn't be

forever removing alginate from them.) :)

...They then poured a plaster like material called "UltraCal" into the

mold to make the positive ...they said it will finish setting in 2days &

is quite hard.

 

3. Also remember milord's advice above about keeping the "victim" calm.

This was also mentioned in the demo.  One bit of advice was to keep

talking to the individual even though they can't talk back. (It is very

soothing.)      ...Also of note was a story of how Steven Segal, macho

as he felt he was, was not one to be able to undergo having his face

covered in a life mask.

---So think carefully about how you feel about undergoing this & who

could be around to help before you start.

 

I hope this helps.. My apologies for this being so long,

                Best Wishes,

                        Lynx GreyShadow

------------------------------------------------------------------

Lynx ShadoPanther  - lynx at shakala.com

Shakala BBS (ClanZen Radio Network) Sunnyvale, CA +1-408-734-2289

 

 

From: Jan.Wagner at f56.n105.z1.fidonet.org (Jan Wagner)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: life masks

Date: Fri, 02 Jun 1995 06:25:00 -0800

 

Dear Friend,

   I have a couple more suggestions in regard to life masks. Working

for an art material retail store, we receive many inquiries in regard

to this subject. The gentles posting information was excellent. We

recommend to use generous amount of vasaline over the entire face prior

to the application of the medium used. For two reaseons: the maske will

be easier to remove and secondly it is less iritating for the skin.

   Aliginate can also be found at art supply stores (many dyers use the

product in dying fibers). There is a plaster of paris gauze that is

also available. The trick is to cut it before you use it into smaller

strips(about 4-5") and cross layer by imersing it first in water. If

you lay the gauze in on one direction, it will either come apart or

be weak.

                      hope this helps,

                      Companion Gytha Anora ni Keran

 

 

From: connect at aol.com (CONNECT)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Headware, footware, and Masquarade balls in period?

Date: 21 Aug 1995 09:36:12 -0400

 

Kaspar von Tirols, Chronicler/Herald for the Canton of Parvus Portus said:

 

>>>3. Some references/texts on masquarade balls in period.<<<

 

Greetings fellow Chronicler!  My focus is on Elizabethan, so I can help a

little there. If that's not the timeframe you're looking for, then I won't

be of much help. <grin> There is a wonderful book called Entertaining

Elizabeth I that is a great start for info on masque balls. I've also seen

a book of minatures, Hilliard is in the title I think, that contained b&w

photos of painted minatures done of people in masque costumes.

 

The courts of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I were pretty lively, and had a lot

of entertainment, so if you can find books on the courts, and not the

people, you may be able to find the detailed info you're looking for. I

hope I've been helpful.

 

Yours in Service,

Rosalyn MacGregor of Glen Orchy

Pattie Rayl of Ann Arbor, MI

 

 

From: merimask at aol.com (MERIMASK)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: maskmaker at Pennsic

Date: 11 Apr 1997 08:28:14 GMT

 

>> My friend was showing me a  video of her trip to Pennsic last year.  The

video showed very briefly a mask-seller with these fabulous cat and animal

masks.<<

 

That would be me.  My SCAdian name is Meridith the Maskmaker, and I make

leather masks of all sorts.  All my designs are originals, and all are

hand-shaped and carved out of 8 oz leather.  I've invented a method of

maskmaking using very heavy-weight leather with durability for use in the

SCA in mind. :-)  If you're interested, I have a scanned page of my

artwork in jpg format that I can e-mail to you.  Contact me at MERIMASK at

aol.com  if you'd like me to send this out to you.  Prices upon request.

 

PS... I'll be back at Pennsic again this year, but arrive early if you're

looking for something in particular.  Last year, I was sold out by

Wednesday afternoon. :-)

 

 

Date: Sun, 10 Aug 1997 23:48:06

From: Edwin Hewitt <brogoose at pe.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Renaissance Masquerade Information

 

>I forgot to ask for help in any and all information regarding Renaissance

>masquerade and masks.  We'll have lots of people interested in designing and

>making their own masks, and I'd like to keep them as period as possible.

>

>Gillian

>MoAS of Ard Raudh, Artemisia

 

I heartily recommend the book, "Commedia dell'Arte, an Actor's Handbook,"

by John Rudlin, published by Routledge, London and NY, 1994,

ISBN 0-415-04769-2 (hardback) or

ISBN 0-415-04770-6 (paperback)

 

It has a very good section on making leather masks of the period you

require.  Even if you do not go through all the effort the art requires,

the illustrations alone will help give you an idea of what the masks

SHOULD look like.  

 

Edwin

 

 

Date: Mon, 29 Sep 1997 12:02:27 -0500

To: bryn-gwlad at Ansteorra.ORG

From: Dieterich <cjw at vvm.com>

Subject: Re: BG - Masks for St. Oligardio

 

Kirsten wrote:

>For the Feast of St. Oligardio the Gruesome, are we talking say Mardi

>Gras 'ish masks for something to start from?  Since I assume feast

>usually means partaking in food and drink, half masks would be most

>servicable.  Anyone know off-hand what period masks were made of?

 

I have seen a number of 15th and 16th C. Fasching Masks and all of them were

done in papier machez. Some of these are quite small, half-faced affairs

while others are as large as five or six feet in diameter. (Fasching is a

Bavarian festival marked by a week of dressing up, getting squiffy, and

fooling around with folks you might otherwise leave be)

 

 

From: Nils K Hammer <nh0g+ at andrew.cmu.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Masks and Mask-making

Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 17:47:39 -0500

Organization: Computer Science Department, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA

 

The late period Venetian long nosed leather mask seems to be

the one I see more than any other. The leather is stretched

on a carved wooden form. I think that there was a small set

of standard masks for the traditional commedia del arte

characters. After returning from Venice, some friends and I

_almost_ bought one, and said that we would make our own

wooden form redesigned to mould them with space for glasses,

but have not done it yet.

 

Since I am not yet prepared to offer you the best, here is the cheapest:

http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~nh0g/nils.html

 

Print it, draw feathers or something on it and tape the beak on.

nils k. hammer

 

 

Date: Sun, 13 Dec 1998 13:59:29 -0600 (CST)

From: "J. Patrick Hughes" <jphughes at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

To: sca-arts at listproc.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Researching the past - question

 

One of the best way to get at period Italian masks is in the number of

books on Commedia del Art. Several have examples from period (at least the

contemporary pictures) and some have directions on how to make the leather

masks.

 

Charles O'Connor

 

 

Date: Sun, 13 Dec 1998 21:39:52 PST

From: "T Cardy" <otterbabi at hotmail.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Researching the past - question

 

>I'm currently researching the history of Masks & Masquerades -

>predominately the Venetian Carnival (Circa mid-12th to 16th).

>

>And although I've managed to find fleeting references to diverse and

>twisted sumptry and civil laws regulating the use and wearing of the masks,

>I can find no quotable source (listing date proclaimed, full law etc).

>

>Can anyone suggest where my next search should begin? (ie. specific

>Universities; Italian law societies).

>

>Since I can not speak or read Italian the source needs to be in English

>(or I need to find an Italian scholar susceptable to chocolate &

>back-rubs....)

>

>Mari de Paxford

 

These are few titles that may help - most are not in print, but might be

available in your local library:

 

Commeddia dell'Arte - A scene study book, by Bari Rolfe, Oakland, CA:

Personabooks

 

The Italian Comedy, by Pierre Louis Ducharte, 1929. Translated from the

French - re-released by Dover books in 1966

 

The Commedia dell'Arte, and the masks of Amoleto and Donato Sartori, By

Alberto Marcia 1980 (this is in Enlglish, but is published in Italy)

 

The Prop Builder's Mask Making Handbook, By Thurston James: Betterway

Books (currently in print) ISBN:  1-55870-166-4

 

Although these are primarily for Commeddia dell'Arte - they all have

bibliographical info in them...more sources to look around for.  Good

Luck!

 

Timothy Van Vlear

 

 

[submitted by Magnus <magnusm at ncsu.edu>]

Subject: FW: Period mask-making (sources?)

Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 11:07:20 -0500

From: "Mohajerin, Leila" <mohaj001 at onyx.dcri.duke.edu>

To: "'atlantia at atlantia.sca.org'" <atlantia at atlantia.sca.org>

 

Poster: Ryan W Snead <rsnead at osf1.gmu.edu>:

>I plan to attend a masqued ball in Janurary, and I am seeking information

>on what materials and styles would be considered period for masks.

>(although I am sure I could make several uneducated guesses!)

>

>Given my limited time and resources, I am looking more for ideas (pretty

>pictures) and basic know-how than documentability. Any thoughts?

>

>William of Rencester

 

Leather, wood, and ceramics are some of the oldest materials that

masks are made from. They, however, probably take more time than you

have between now and January.  Paper mache is also an authentic

medium, and you can find directions for making things in most

children's activity books.

 

Another material was fabric.  Sized fabric can retain a shape and be

relatively comfortable and durable. Fabric is quick.

 

For a modern method of making these age old masks, you will need:

Fabric (almost any will do...felt works best because it will  stretch

in any direction, and is therefore easier to  contour to a human

face....noses in particular are hard to do.) I would not

recommend polyesters since, besides not being period, they don't

seem to bind  well with the sizing. Another thing to be wary of,

fabrics with a nap or fur.  Since you are emursing the fabric

in glue, the nap or fur will become all matted and icky. It is

better to make a base of a different  fabric, and then cover it with

the plush fabric or fur by sewing or gluing on the underside only.

 

Glue...Water soluble is the easiest to use, however, if you   sweat

proficiently, your mask will start to get soggy and loose shape.

Elmers white glue and wood glues are good.  Another solution I

have used are the fabric stiffeners, such as Aileen's, that are

found in  fabric store craft sections. The glue must be able to

permeate the fabric, so most acrylic, spray or gel glues absolutely

will not work.  You also will have this on your face and around

your nose, so do not  use anything that gives off fumes. Even when

dry, I have known people to become discomforted by fumes

from glues in masks.

 

A mold...Do NOT try to put it on a living face!  You can build

up a mold from modeling clay, carve it from wood....or buy a head

form from a beauty supply  shop (I think they cost around $2-3's).

The   styrofoam heads have kind of small delicate faces, so you

still might want to pad them up a bit.  There is some

flexibility with them masks when they are done, so you might be fine.

 

Some alluminum foil.

tape

straight pins, or T pins

 

Here is what you do:

First of all, decide what you want your mask to look like. For masque

balls and performances, 1/2 masks were quite popular since they were

cooler to wear, and easier to speak and be heard from.

 

Prepare the head- Get it the shape you want it.  Often it helps to

only have the front half of the head, with a flat back, so that it

will lie face up.  If using the styrofoam, you can chop off the back

1/4 of the head. Make the face the shape you need to fit YOUR face (if

your mask is vastly different in facial structure than yours, you will

do that on the outside, not the inside...it needs to fit close to your

face to stay on and feel comfortable)

Cover the head with the foil.  You should tape the ends down in back

so that it does not shift while you are working.

 

Soak fabric in glue (or fabric stiffener) until it is thoroughly

saturated.

 

Place the fabric onto the form.

Start smoothing out the fabric onto the form.  Begin with the nose and

work up toward the brow and then into the eyes.  You will be cutting

out the eye holes later, so extra lumps over the eyes are not a

problem.

 

Once the whole thing is smoothed over, let it dry. I have used an oven

on a very low temp, when I was in a hurry and the air was so humid,

nothing was drying.  You could also use a hairdryer. Caution should

be used with both of these since the fabric could scorch or burn or

melt.

 

If you have thin fabric, satin or such, you should paint another coat

of glue on the dry face and let that dry again.

Completely!

 

Now, carefully peel up the mask.  You can remove the whole thing, mask

and foil from the head, and then peel the foil out of the interior of

the mask.

 

You should carefully, lightly paint with glue on the inside to help

seal fabric from your perspiration.

 

Let dry again.

 

Now you can decorate the mask in any way you like.

 

Places to get inspirations are pictures of theater and theater history

books. Ancient Greek, Comedia del Arte, the Miracle plays, and

Elizabethan Theatre (Inago Jones).  But, people were as creative then

as now, and just about anything went, depending on the desired effect.

 

Sveva la Lucciola

 

 

Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 12:27:23 -0400

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu, Merryrose <atlantia at atlantia.sca.org>

Subject: Mask Making Links Pages

 

http://www.angel-mask.com/masklinx.htm

http://www.masks.org/

 

This should keep 'Vard busy for a while. Masked Balls anyone?

These pages contain instructions for making all kinds of masks

and links to mask makers.

 

Magnus

 

 

Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 09:54:59 -0700

From: Kenneth J Mayer <domus at juno.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Mask Making Links Pages

 

For what it's worth, while this site has some interesting links, most of

it the details from any of the sites given are rather sketchy. However,

the recommendation for this book:

 

The Prop Builder's Mask-Making Handbook, by Thurston James, published by

Betterway

               Books, ISBN 1-55870-166-4.

 

Is the best thing there. It is a fantastic book for anyone interested in

mask-making, and the section on leather Commedia masks is fantastic. The

Golden Stag Players (West Kingdom acting troupe) are working up a

Commedia for 12th Night, and are relying heavily on this book as a source

of information on making the proper masks ... (we are partly done with

the first phase of the mask-making portion of the project ...).

 

Details on what we're doing can be found at:

http://ww.mindspring.com/~hirschv/gsplay/gstags.htm

 

Check out the "Twin Captains" bits, including the "Diary" that I've been

keeping going ...

 

Hirsch

 

 

From: AgnesVF <agnesvf at netzero.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Making Leather Masks for Masquerade Balls

Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 06:41:26 -0800

 

Well the lady on this page

http://www.angel-mask.com/movindex.htm suggests

The Prop Builder's Mask-Making Handbook, by Thurston James,

published by Betterway Books, ISBN 1-55870-166-4 as the must

have book for learning to make leather masks. I myself am

interested in the subject although a little more for my

husband's sake(he's the leather worker).

 

Lady Agnes von Frunsberg

 

 

From: betnoir <betnoir at earthlink.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Making Leather Masks for Masquerade Balls

Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 10:11:20 -0700

 

You might try the following:

 

See if you can get a 'full-head' mannequin.

 

Cut out the leather in the shape you wish, wet it, and then mold it to the

mannequin.  Keep rewetting and molding until the leather takes on the shape of

the mannequin face.

 

Then, you can cut out the eye/nose/mouth on the leather.

 

 

From: "wolffe" <wolffe at onslowonline.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Making Leather Masks for Masquerade Balls

Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 18:39:17 -0400

 

betnoir <betnoir at earthlink.net> wrote

> Cut out the leather in the shape you wish, wet it, and then mold it to the

> mannequin.  Keep rewetting and molding until the leather takes on the

> shape of the mannequin face.

>

> Then, you can cut out the eye/nose/mouth on the leather.

 

If in the end, making your own mask becomes too much. I HIGHLY reccomend

Cheryl's masks at Angel-Mask. I order the Spitfire Dragon one for our Masque

Ball here in Oct. She did it to my specifications for NO EXTRA money,and its

beautiful. comfortable and everything. She's great to work with too.

 

-Wolf

 

 

From: drgnflydsn at aol.com (DrgnflyDsn)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Making Leather Masks for Masquerade Balls

Date: 18 Aug 1999 01:48:17 GMT

 

Lady Agnes Von Frunsberg posted:

<snip>

>The Prop Builder's Mask-Making Handbook, by Thurston James,

>published by Betterway Books, ISBN 1-55870-166-4 as the must

>have book for learning to make leather masks.

 

This is an excellent book for all forms of mask making. The section on leather

masks is from a class the author took in Italy from a master craftsman.

Detailed photos are included.

My suggestion would be to also look for classes. This is an extremely

challenging art form. Hands on experience can make all the difference.

As mentioned by several folks already Angel-Mask has some of the best pricing

and quality on the market.

The mother of all mask sites to see masks from around the world is

http://www.masks.org/

I own masks form several of the artists listed. : 0 )

 

Ronda

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dragonfly Design

http://members.aol.com/DrgnflyDsn

Masks, Historical Clothing Patterns, Garb

 

 

From: grhardh at aol.com (Grhardh)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Making Leather Masks for Masquerade Balls

Date: 20 Aug 1999 04:37:24 GMT

 

I must second or third the recommendation  of the book so described it is

excellent in walking you through the steps needed to create a leather mask. As

far as my reading has lead me masked balls where not a happening thing during

the middle ages as such, mostly in the theatre or on certain holidays long

since lost to antiquity and in some places and times outlawed as the person

wearing a mask was thought to be not in possesion of there own personality at

the time of wearing.

 

  If you would like to read more about the subject I would recommend "Comedia

dell'Arte-An Actors Handbook"by John Rudlin ISBN 0415-047706 or "Medieval

Theatre in Context" by John Wesley Harris ISBN 0-415-06782-0 both of these will

give you some background on mask usage of the era.

 

After you have made a clay model and a plaster mold of your desired mask shape

it takes about 3 to 6 hours to form it in leather(depending on the complexity

of the design). They are really great fun to make and quite the conversation

piece(like we dont have enough of thoughs already).

 

  Good luck and hope this helps alittle.

     Gerhard Helmbrecht von Offenbach

Guildhead-Gyldenholt Leatherworkers Guild      

 

 

From: drgnflydsn at aol.com (DrgnflyDsn)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Mask making

Date: 30 Sep 1999 00:42:19 GMT

 

Lady Catherine Peacock posted:

<snip>

>I'm interested in trying my hand at mask making, especially >ones in the style

>of Mummers or the Commedia del arte.

 

The prop builder's Mask-Making Handbook by Thurston

James contains information on how to build leather

masks using traditional methods. He does show masks

built on wooden forms.

I don't work in leather so I can't offer much advice

on this method.

 

Try http://www.masks.org/

 

Its the mother of all mask sites. : 0 )

Artists from around the world are featured. It probably

wouldn't hurt to contact a few artists to learn more

about historical practices.

If you want "the look" of historical masks you might find

paper to be much easier and less expensive. Leather can

be spendy if you plan to make dozens of the masks for a

masked ball.

You can paint the masks to look like leather.

 

Ronda

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dragonfly Design Studio

http://DragonflyDesignStudio.com

Masks, Historical Clothing Patterns, Garments

 

 

From: aw525 at lafn.org

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Mask making

Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 19:47:41 -0700

Organization: The Los Angeles Free-Net

 

The most incredible Comedia masks I have ever seen were made at a leather workshop offered by Thurston James.  Although I don't know if he still offers workshops, (they were held at the local Tandy Leather shop here in the Southern California area) I do know he has a wonderful book which does include comedia masks.  It is titled The Propbuilders Mask Making Handbook by Thurston James - and is published by "Better Way Books" of Cincinnatti.  He may also be listed in the San Fernando Valley, California telephone directory.  Good luck!

 

Maestra Isabel

 

 

From: gunnora at my-deja.com

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Mask Making ?

Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2000 15:56:53 GMT

 

"GA & NM Lowrey" <galowrey at mindspring.com> wrote:

> I have been asked to teach a class next month on Mask Making to

> prepare for a masked ball.  I would like to hear from anyone who has

> information on period masks and how they were made.  I've had a hard

> time finding anything in period on the web so far.

> THL Bianca Allegri da Vicenza

 

Mistress Brynhildr got me interested in the two masks shown in Inga

HŠgg's Die Textilfunde aus dem Hafen von Haithabu.

 

HŠgg references the masks on pp. 69-72.  My German is not very good,

and I'm not sure how good my translation therefore may be, so here's

both the text and my probably not-so-good translation follows:

 

Abb. 46. Schafs-Maske aus dnnem, rštlichem Filzstoff.  Breite etwa 19

cm, Hšhe etwa 14 cm.  StoffstŠrke 0.4 cm.  Die Seitenkanten sind rundum

beschnitten und enden oben in zwei Zipfeln in Ohrenform.  An den Seiten

sind die charakteristischen Konturen von Kiefern zu erkennen.  In einem

Abstand von etwa 6 cm sind zwei Augenlšcher ausgeschnitten.

Stirnpartien und Maulpartien sind wahrscheinlich durch Walken gewšlbt.

Das Maul ist darber hinaus durch einen schrŠgen Schnitt der wohl

ursprnglich zugenŠht gewesen ist nach unten spitz zugeformt und mit

Nasenlšchern versehen,  Die IberflŠche ist, wie bei den gerauhten

Stoffen, zottig und pelzig.

 

Figure 46. Sheep mask from thin, reddish felt material. Width about 19

cm, height of about 14 cm. Thickness 0.4 cm. The material edges are all

round cut and end above in two tips shaped like ears. On the edges the

characteristic outlines of the jawlines are to be detected. From there

at a distance of approximately 6 cm two eye holes are low-cut. Front

portions and muzzle portions are probably curved by felting/fulling.

The muzzle is formed by a diagonal cut that has been sewn and formed

and with nostrils provided probably originally angled downward beyond

that, the upper surface is, as with the roughened materials, shaggy and

furry.

 

 

Abb. 47. Maskenfragment aus mittelfeinem, stark gerauhtem

Gleichgratkšper 2/1.  Nur eine HŠlfte erhalten.  LŠnge 26 cm, Breite 20

cm, StoffstŠrke 0.8 cm.  Die vollestŠandige Maske Drfte aus zwei

gleichartig geformten Teilen bestanden haben, die der LŠnge nach

zusammengenŠht waren.  Der jetzigen Form nach handelt es sich um eine

Rindermaske.  Die Seiten sind scharf zugeschnitten und bestehen aus

einer geraden, etwa 21 cm langen Kante von der Stirn bis zum Maul die

ursprnglich mit der zweiten HŠlfte vernŠhte Seite, einem konkaven

Bogen fr die Maul-partie, einer festen Kieferkontur, einem Ohr und

einer leicht geschwungenen Stirnlinie.  Als Auge ist ein etwa

35 x 40 mm groes Loch ausgeschnitten, das sich 22 mm innerhalb der

Trennkante befindet.  Der Abstand zwischen den Augenlšchern drfte

deshalb maximal etwa 88 mm betragen haben; wahrscheinlich etwas

weniger, da durch die Verbindungsnaht zwischen den MaskenhŠlften mit

einer geringfgigen Reduktion gerechnet werden mu.  Ihre

dreidimensionale Form hat die Maske durch starke Walkung und eine

entsprechende Zuformung erhalten, ihre naturgetreu pelzartige

OberflŠche durch eine starke Tauhung, die nur jene Teile bedeckt, die

bei einem Rinderkopf behaart sind, das Maul also ausnimmt.

 

Figure 47. Mask fragment from medium-fine, very coarse even twill 2/1.

Only one half survives. Length 26 cm, width 20 cm, thickness 0.8 cm.

The full mask might have consisted of two similarly formed sections,

which were sewn together along the midline. Judging by the remaining

fragment, this was probably originally a cattle mask. The are sharply

sut and consist of straight lines, originally about 21 cm from the edge

of the forehead to the muzzle with the second half sewn along the edge,

a concave curve for the muzzle portion, a fixed edge-contour, an ear

and gently curving forehead line. A large eye-hole, about 35 x 40 mm is

low-cut, which is 22 mm from the midline edge. The distance between the

eye holes might have amounted to therefore max. about 88 mm; probably

somewhat less, since a slight seam-allowance between the mask halves

must be considered. The three-dimensional form of the mask was created

by strong felting and an appropriate shape  created, the furry hide

surface was formed by combing, excluding only those sections which

would not show.

 

Mistress Thora Sharptooth suggests that "medium-fine, thickly napped

2/1 twill" means that "the thread count on this piece is kind of high

(25x10/cm); that's what medium-fine means, even though the yarns are

thick (0.9mm and 1.7mm respectively)"

 

The diagrams provided with the illustration show these masks being worn

with a hood covering the remainder of the head and neck.

 

The Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus referred in his Book

of Ceremonies to a "Gothic Dance" performed by members of his Varangian

guard, who took part wearing animal skins and masks (Hilda R. Ellis-

Davidson. Pagan Scandinavia. NY: Frederick A. Praeger. 1967. p. 100).

Davidson suggests that this type of costumed dance is also seen in

figures from Swedish helmet plates, scabbard ornaments, and bracteates

which depict human figures with the heads of bears or wolves, dressed

in animal skins but having human hands and feet. These figures often

carry spears or swords, and are depicted as running or dancing. (For

example, the helmet plate from Torslunda, Sweden).

 

I wondered if anyone else has done any research on the idea of period

Scandinavian masks.

 

::GUNNORA::

 

 

From: "blademaster" <merlyn at jps.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Mask Making ?

Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 17:52:25 -0700

 

GA & NM Lowrey <galowrey at mindspring.com> wrote:

> I have been asked to teach a class next month on Mask Making to prepare for

> a masked ball.  I would like to hear from anyone who has information on

> period masks and how they were made....

 

    Greetings.  From what I have been able to find out, masks were made in

period using literally what ever was available that could be shaped to the

desired appearance.  Theatrical masks seem to have been predominately made

from fabric, leather and papier-mache, although in earlier times wood and

clay were used extensively.  Festival masks were even made from woven straw,

leaves, grasses and even mud (although the latter is extremely short lived!)

 

    Construction techniques have not changed significantly (except for those

items made from modern materials such as plastic and latex) and there are

several good books available in the theatre arts section of any good

bookstore or library.  Some books on Special Effects Makeup also have

sections on basic techniques.  I have even found information on cloth masks

enclosed with packages of fabric stiffeners.

 

    The primary thing needed for any large mask is some sort of head form.

Individual pieces are then shaped and assembled on the form giving a much

more comfortable fit.  Simple masks (such as the classic "Lone Ranger/Zorro"

type) can be cut from material or leather and decorated without the use of a

form.

 

    Insofar as feather masks are concerned, I have found no references to

masks made entirely of feathers, but feathers were commonly used as

components/decoration.  Also animal hair and fur were and still are very

popular, especially horse hair.

 

    Masks are and always have been limited only by the imagination of the

maker.  As long as you avoid modern materials like rubber and latex you will

be fine.  Make sure you have lots of glue and ties.

    The one book I have found that I like the best on making masks is:

                        The Prop Builders Mask-Making Handbook

                        by Thurston James

                        published by Betterway Books of Cincinnatti

 

Cost is around $20.00

    Best of luck with your class.

 

Yours in service,

Etienne Xavier Bondurant de Blacquemoor

 

 

Subject: *WH* Only 72 Mask-Making Days Until Twelfth Night - Some

Ideas to Use

Date: Thu, 02 Nov 2000 16:51:06 -0500

From: Jerome Quillen <jerome_quillen at unc.edu>

To: keep at windmastershill.org

 

Only 72 Mask-Making Days Until Twelfth Night

 

The Masqued Ball at Twelfth Night has the potential to be either one of

those unforgettable magic SCA moments just another Twelfth Night with a

few people  in masks.  Which one it will be depends just as much on all

of us as on those in charge.  We have a chance here to create something

amazing here - only 72 days to go.

 

Here are a few ideas to get you started with your masks:

 

CHEESE CLOTH MASKS FROM CAST MOLDS

These masks may be built over a plaster cast, over a Styrofoam head

form, or directly on top of the wearer's face.

 

MAKING THE CAST

 

Materials (available at craft or hobby supply stores such as

Michael's or Hungate's)

   Plaster bandages

   Petroleum Jelly

   Plaster-of-Paris

   Water

 

1)  Tear the plaster bandages into 4-inch sections.

2)  Secure the person's hair back from their face.

3)  Cover the person's face with a thin layer of petroleum jelly.

4)  Cover their facial hair (eyebrows, eyelashes, moustaches, etc)

with Kleenex for added security.

5)  Dip the plaster bandages into the water one at a time and wring

out the excess moisture immediately.

6)  Smooth the bandages onto the person's face, overlapping the edges

and laying them diagonally (using the bias) over the contours of the

nose, eye sockets, etc.

7)  Cover the entire face (except for the nostrils) with 2 or 3

layers of bandages.

8)  Allow the cast to set (allow 10-15 minutes for the fast-set

variety). Warn the person that the plaster will heat slightly during the

setting process.

9)  Carefully remove the hardened cast from the face and discard the

protective tissue.  You now have a negative cast of the person's face.

The next step is to make a positive cast, upon which the mask will be

built.

10) Plug the nostril holes on the outside of the negative cast with

additional strips of plaster bandage.

11) Mix the plaster-of-Paris according to the package instructions.

When the mixture begins to thicken and warm, pour immediately into the

negative cast.

12) Allow the plaster-of-Paris to set.  Like the plaster bandages, it

will warm first, then cool before it is set.  This may take several

hours, depending on the brand and the water-to-plaster ratio.

13) When the plaster has set, pull back the sides of the negative

cast.

 

The negative cast may be discarded, or if it is still intact, it may be

used again to make another positive cast.  It's helpful to have several

positive casts when a large number of masks are required because of

the time taken up in waiting for a mask to dry.

 

CREATING THE MASK

 

Materials

   Postive plaster face cast (the one you've just made)

   Modeling clay (depending on the type of mask)

   Petroleum jelly

   Cheesecloth

   Elmer's glue (or similar brand)

   Water

   Paint brush(es)

   Paint (acrylic, enamel, and spray paint will work)

   Small dishes to mix glue and paint

   Scissors and/or utility knife

   Felt

   Other decorations such as feathers, trim, glitter, beads, jewels,

etc. as needed

   Ribbon, elastic or a mask stick.

 

1)  The positive plaster face cast may be used as is or it may be

built up with modeling clay to create animal or fantasy masks.

2)  Cover the positive face cast with a thin layer of petroleum

jelly.

3)  Pour some glue in a dish and thin it a bit with water so that it

can be painted on smoothly with a paint brush - mix well.

4)  Place the cheesecloth over the face form one layer at a time and

brush each layer with an even coat of glue.  Use three or four layers.

5)  Allow the mask to dry completely before removing it from the form.

6)  Trim a piece of thin felt so that it will be large enough to line

the mask with a slight overlap.

7)  Trim the outer edge of the mask to the desired shape with sharp

scissors or utility knife, and cut out eye and nose openings.

8)  Fit the mask to the wearer's face and pad any areas which feel

uncomfortable.  Eye and nose areas frequently need a bit of padding.

9)  Paint or decorate the mask

10)  Trims can be applied with Elmer's glue, hot glue or with a

needle and thread.

11) An elastic band, ribbon ties, or a stick (for a hand-held mask)

may be stitched in place.

 

DECORATING STORE-BOUGHT PLASTIC MASKS

 

A quicker way to make your mask is to buy a plain plastic mask and

decorate it to your taste.

You can either paint it or coat it with glue and cover it with the

fabric of choice - felt, velvet, corduroy - even fake fur.  For to

attach heavier fabrics and trims, you may want to borrow or invest in

a hot glue gun.  You can decorate it as described above.  For a more

natural look, you can glue dried autumn leaves in a fish scale pattern

over the mask or even use pine cone scales, spagnum moss and other

natural materials or the great silk flowers and leaves that can be

bought in craft or hobby stores.

 

 

3-DIMENSIONAL LEATHER MASKS

I've seen some marvelous leather masks - check out some of the web

pages below for examples of these.

I've never made one of these, but I'm told that the method is to boil

some medium weight leather at 180 degrees just long enough to soften

the leather, then mold it onto a form and let it set and harden - it will

shrink a bit as it dries.  Then stain or paint it as desired and finish

it off with some kind of polish - like atomic balm to keep it from

drying and cracking.

 

DECORATIVE THEME IDEAS

Animals - cats, birds, birds of prey, wolf, bear, fox

Mythical Creatures - Unicorns, goblins, elves, fareies, dragons, medusa, wood, water, earth, air, fire and tree spirits, ghosts, daemons and more.

Gods and Godesses - Choose from the Norse, Celtic, Welsh, Greek, Roman

pantheons and more.

Seasons, emotions, virtues, vices, flowers, trees, etc.

 

WEB SITES WITH PHOTOS OF MASKS

   LEATHER MASKS

   http://www.angel-mask.com/movindex.htm

   http://www.mansourdesigns.com/

 

  FEATHER MASKS

   http://www.maui.net/~love/

 

That's it for now - if you have any ideas, corrections, additions, or

whatever, please post them to this list.

 

Ursula von Bremen

 

 

Subject: [medieval-leather] Re: Leather Maskmaking

Date: Mon, 01 Jan 2001 08:13:54 -0000

From: cptkay at hotmail.com

To: medieval-leather at egroups.com

 

Having made leather masks for SCA use, among others, my 2cents worth

is here: The old Leathercrafter magazine had an excellent article a

few-okay several- years back on the le4ather masks used by the

Comedia del arte.

 

My method is to use a light-2-4 oc vegetable tanned calf skin, pliver

is too thin, and heavier than 4 oz will mould well, but gets very hot

very quicly, best used on puppets instead of masks.

You will need a base to mold on.  As i do not usually do grotesques,

I tend to use a life mask.  if the person you are making for will not

sit, then make your own life mask cast, and mold on that.  Unless you

are doing a latex mask for theatre or convention work it will fit

well enough!

 

Soak the leather until very soggy, then into the plastic bag to case-

rest and fully wet thoughout.  Remove from bag and allow to get to

that point of dryness that looks like it is drying, but still feels

chill on your cheek-9THE ONE ON YOUR FACE! at )

now just begin the molding process on your life cast POSITIVE and

don't be shy about folding in details, and modeling in lines,

wrinkles, and other effects.  Pull the leather initially to makeit

tight onto the face, pressing down to get the details at the nose and

such.  The comedia masks are made with a little hammer made from a

tip of cow horn to gently pound the leather to the model, getting it

into all the crevices and shapes. (these masks usually involve

exaggerated features and grotesques) Outline the eyes well with a

stulus, and determine your cut off marks.

You can make a nice tree branch effect by taking long trims at the

edge, and simply twisting them around on themselves.

Use a spray bottle if things dry before you want them too, and a hair

dryer- on low- if they get too soggy, or you want it to dry faster.

 

When dry, remove from the face mold, and trim up the edges--make the

cuts at the eyes- I usually only cut the bottom line, and fold it up

like eyelids- sort of a makers style mark of mine. It ads a change in

texture, and looks king of cool, as well as keeping "sharp" edges

away from the eyes.

 

NOTE:

I put smooth side out on most masks, but not all

I sometimes line the inside with a spray coating or spray adhesive

and fabric (mold them both at the same time, spray glue after dry)

This keeps the leather mask in shape during long wear, if the person

sweats alot

It is possible to make masks that will work with glasses using this

method, just make a buildup on the positive before molding the

leather. Do not use plastilina to make this, it will not take the

stress of the modeling, and pulling.>

 

It is really pretty easy to do, just takes some time to let yourself

play with it!

 

Kay

 

 

Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 19:19:14 -0800

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler1 at comcast.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pictures from my Illusion Feast

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Robert Downie wrote:

><snip>

> we ended up using that plaster coated mesh stuff

>(the stuff used to make casts for broken bones) available at art supply stores

>in large rolls.  It took four big rolls to execute all the masks and food

>covers!

>Faerisa

 

Yeah...great stuff.  It's called Pariscraft...or at least it used to

be.  It's really super for making life masks...put a little cold cream

on the person's skin, then cover with layers of the material.  It sets

up VERY quickly.

 

Kiri

 

<the end>



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