Tuesday, 29 December 2015

46/52 Japanese Mask


As I'm sure you know I've made masks pendants for quite a while now. Most of my masks are based on Venetian ones, but I've also made an assortment of animals and aliens!

When I was in Japan I saw lots of festival masks and decided I really should try to make a Japanese style mask! I was just taking a photo of them in this shop window when Dice Minagawa did his impression of one as well! ;)


That kind of made up my mind which style to try! I think this comic mask face is whistling and is called Usofuki from Kyogen traditional comic theatre (but of course I might be wrong!!) :)

I started out using my own mask mould, the same one I use for all my masks. This mould has the eyes cut out though and for this mask I wanted to add eyes (a first for me!!). I decided to fill the eye holes with more Art Clay silver and then set about building up the cheeks and nose to make the comic face. This is a work in progress photo. At this point I was still creating the shape and just trying out how the eyes might look with some dry scraps of clay. 


Once I was happy with the face I finished the back (more on that in a moment) and then fired the piece. Here it is after a quick polishing.


Next was enamelling. A little red in the mouth, some white and yellow for the eyes and black for the eyebrows and nostrils. The dark around the eyes is from a patina I added after enamelling, which I then polished back when I added a stain finish to the mask.


As well as having eyes the other difference for this mask is that I decided to make it into a brooch. Another first for me!! :D

I added a tube and a hook, both made of of silver clay, before I fired the mask. The very last job I did was to add a length of hardened sterling silver wire for the pin.


I've tried wearing it and it sits quite nicely! 


It was a fun brooch to make and something different for me...which has gotten me thinking a lot more about some new styles of masks!!!

That's something to watch out for in 2016!

Have fun!

Joy x

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