Mask Making

Well that last post tickled a few folk, I feel as though I am in good company knowing that so many of  you have similarly untidy work spaces, and yes, I know I am lucky to have such a great space to work in.  However, I had better make the most of  it as we have some building work beginning in a weeks time and I may well have to move out of the studio for the rest of the summer.

So just to show you that I have not been hanging about, below are some photos that tell the story of my latest mask.  The mask will be part of an exhibition by DOT (Designs On Textiles) called Consequences, running from 9th October to 28th November 2010 at Newark Millgate Museum, Newark, Notts.  More of that as we approach September.

From computer generated designs based on DOT’s games of Consequences, I drew out my mask .  I had already made the flowers out of Friendly Plastic (see below) as a direct interpretation of the computer generated images, so I could place these over my base drawing to get their positioning right.

I transferred the design to aluminium foil using an embossing tool


Softened Friendly Plastic Pellets made it easy to follow the contours of the design, and when I had completed the basic pattern, I stamped it using a large deeply etched rubber stamp

Alcohol inks provide the colour, along with highlights in Rub n Buff metallic wax.

This is when all the flowers are added.

You can see the textural detail that rubber stamps can provide, but  the alcohol inks and Rub n Buff really enhance the texture.

The next job is to laminate the fabric to the plastic using a heat gun and a soldering iron, and then to shape it and add any frills and furbelows (in this case some wire and “beads on strings” – I really must come up with a better name than that), before mounting it on a painted board. 

Here is the finished mask that has yet to acquire a name. 

Perhaps this will whet your appetite for our exhibition, and you will come to Newark to see all the work by members of DOT, but more importantly, learn a little bit about using the computer as a design tool for your creative endeavours.  In this post I have concentrated on the Friendly Plastic side of the design work,  but at the exhibition there will be plenty of  back up material that explains the computer side of things as well.