Mask: Brassy Eyes

Sunday we drove to the next town over, to go to Hobby Lobby, which we’d forgotten is one of the rare stores that closes on Sunday. So we went to Hancock Fabrics instead; there’s no fabric where I live (not even in the Wal-mart). It was a good thing too, they were having a wonderful store wide sale and I came home with all the supplies and inspiration I needed.

I’d sculpted this face to make the Wise Wick mask you can view in my gallery and wanted to try to make another mask on the same mold. Well – it worked, sort of. The general shape came through, but not all the details. That’s okay though — wait until you see all the personality.

This is what the fabric looks like fresh off the mold. I usually wait until I see this to decide what the personality is going to be. The mouth appeared here much larger than it is on the original sculpt and the nose is a lot straighter too.

This is a result of not being pressed tightly enough into the form. I wasn’t disappointed though. This was a face that was going to have CHARACTER!

Lips… I had to start with the lips. Despite the nice heart shape that was present on the fabric, they were flat. So I pulled out the modeling past and the gold paint for some serious diva lips.

Check this out: 

I’d already purchased brassy looking buttons for the eyes and wild ribbon for the hair. All the tones work perfectly together.

When it came time to sew the eyes on things began to unfold a bit. I knew that the shape and ideas had come together too easy; something had to happen. And then, with the eyes in place the structure fell out of the fabric and I might as well have been holding a deflated balloon. It is much harder to put shape back into a face once the trim has been added, but I gave it my best shot. Carefully, I painted the back of the mask with a new coat of fabric stiffener and the re-press it into the mold. I knew that I was going to lose some detail, but I wasn’t sure how much. HOURS later, I popped the thing back out, and to my shock and amazement everything worked.

So what do you think of Brassy Eyes, the diva? (either that or even she’s startled she came back out of the mold alive) I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

All photos copyright Anna Marie Catoir, 2010

The Masterpiece

Last month I took a mask making class at The Art Station in Ponchatoula, LA. My class taught by owner, Kim Howes Zabbia who is an amazing artist and teacher.  Earlier I posted pictures of the “in progress mask,” so now here without further ado is the finished product.

This is the first time I’ve every built a clay mask like this, that was then glazed and fired. Normally, I use air dry clay and form fabric over that. I can’t wait to try this again.

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Mask in Progress (Art Station class)

I’ve been to three mask making sessions at the Art Station and I am pleased with how my piece is turning out. The technique being taught is very different from the way I’ve worked with clay in the past. We finished the doing the sculpt last night, and next week we are going to glaze them. I can’t wait to see how that will turn out.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Each of my fellow classmates masks were very different and very expressive. One lady used pictures of Greek and Roman statuary to inspire her leaf framed face which has a touch of the wise woman about it. The sole gentleman in the class sculpted a Native American head dress to frame his broad masculine face. Another student’s was The Man-in-the-Crescent-Moon, another’s was a large leaf with a face on it, and the last one was also of Native American design. Everyone is having a good time.

Head Band in purple

I saw something similar to this on the Internet and fell in love with it, but it was a little pricey. So, I decided to try it for myself and I think it came out lovely. I purchased 4 sheets of felt and used a few beads and cord I had lying around the house. It took about an hour and a half maybe two hours to complete.

Purple Flowers 2010

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My Art on Display

My masks will be on display at the Causeway Branch of the St. Tammany Parish Library in Mandeville, LA as of tomorrow afternoon. I have about 6 new pieces that have not been on display there before.  Very excited!

Fingers Crossed

Keep your fingers crossed, I’ve entered an art show. The Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts national juried exhibition, For & About Woman. I’ve entered what I feel is one of my best pieces. A mask of gold fabric with blue button eyes and white flowers for hair. It’s in the gallery, so check it out. The turn around time on notifications is fairly quick so I should know where or not I’ve been accepted by the end of the month. I’m excited! Wish me luck.

Shell (red mask)

"Shell" ( red mask, cardboard ) for sale $10 on Twitpic

This is my newest creation. It reminds me of the hard shell of a boiled crawfish so for right now I’m just calling it “Shell.” It is made from cut and shaped cardboard, paint, and glue. With a little ink and two stones for accent. The gold ink is a little hard to see in the photo, but it accents the edges of some of the raised designs.

This mask is for sale. $10 dollars plus shipping.