How to create your own Ceramic Mask
Before designing your own mask, check out these amazing masks from cultures all over the world:
Pacific Island Masks
From the Museum of Natural History in New York City
Here you will see examples from "a group of 80 such masks in the collection of The Field Museum in Chicago. Carved from soft wood and painted in traditional patterns and colors, they are among the oldest and most beautiful Indonesian masks in the United States."
Above are three pictures of the same mask affixed to a wall. The lighting in all three pictures is the same. Only the camera moved. Noh theater masks are designed to display different emotions depending on the position of the actor's head
The three photographs above show the same mask from different angles. What emotions does it convey from each view? What directions would the actor have to turn his head in order to look happy, worried or upset? What emotions would you like to convey in your own mask? When creating a three dimensional mask remember to keep turning it and reexamining it throughout the sculpting process.
If you would like to learn more about Noh masks, click here to visit the Noh Masks Data base.
To search the collection data base of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, click here
To learn more about mask making, including directions for how to create masks from papier mache and Paris Craft, click here.
READY TO CREATE YOUR OWN MASK?
What you will need:
White earthenware clay
Access to a kiln
Fork (small cocktail fork works best)
Slip (small container of clay mixed with water to create a wet, muddy mixture)
Piece of paper to roll the clay on
HERE IS A SHORT VIDEO, CREATED BY ONE OF MY STUDENTS, OF ME GIVING DIRECTIONS FOR THIS PROJECT TO A SIXTH GRADE CLASS