The January PCAGOE Challenge is masks. They are not my favorite thing. I don't like to wear them. I'm too claustrophobic for that. Don't really like them on other people as well. They kind of scare me. Never sure what is hidden behind them. I do love a challenge though.
Zentangling has been a new past time for me lately. I drew my inspiration from that. If you are not familiar with zentangling is it called a yoga for the brain. It is a great creative tool for me. It's doodling with a certain freedom that drawing wouldn't allow. It's very restorative.
This mask was constructed on a homemade mask form made from foil and paper. I started with a very thin veneer of black and white stripes. This is the thinnest I've ever worked with, the thinnest on my pasta machine. I wanted to see how it withstand the handling once it was cured. I also was thinking about the clay I would add on top and didn't want to start too thick. The black and white stripes crackled while I was getting it that thin and from far it looks like newspaper. Adding black and white stripes, triangles, squares and circles to make repetitive patterns on the mask I made shapes that I found pleasing. I then added some mica powders to give it a silvery sheen in some spots.
The next step was a spur of the moment idea and I love the way it turned out. The thinness of the base clay gave me concern. After the curing, I was afraid it couldn't be handled without breaking. And I was concerned about how comfortable it would be to wear the mask. Having clay so close to your face would be uncomfortable for me. So I glued a piece of felt to the back and blanket stitched the felt to the mask, all around the edges. I added a silk ribbon on both sides to tie it up It makes the mask much more comfortable and add strength to the clay.
Voila! We are ready for Mardi Gras.