In this project,
students select a mask from any culture they desire that they will
replicate with paper mache. It must reflect a specific culture instead
of simply being a Halloween or decorative mask. They may entirely
replicate a mask or a mask as inspiration to create their own mask.
The mask is to be made in such a way that it will fit the face of
the artist making it.
step works best with kids working in groups of two. Initial
construction of the mask is made using strips of heavy paper (cereal
boxes cut in strips work very well). Wrap strips loosely around the
face from chin to crown. Tape or staple the strips together. Then,
use other strips going across the forehead, chin, and nose until a
rough covering of the face is created. Since staples are used to connect
paper to the outer edge, be sure to cover the staples with masking
tape to protect the face from scratching. Using cardboard strips,
toilet paper rolls, and whatever other recycled supplies are available,
add the detail to the mask with masking tape to give it the necessary
stage is completed, the mask is ready for paper mache. It is very
important to get a smooth surface. If there are wrinkles when the
paper mache is applied wet, they will certainly be there when the
mask is dry.
Be sure to mix up the paper mache
solution a day in advance so it gets thick. If it is too thick, just
add water and shake it up in a tupperware dish (with
the lid sealed.)
the mask no longer fits after the paper mache is applied, there
is an easy solution. Cut a two inch slit at the top of the forehead.
Spread the slit and staple a piece of cardboard upon the split (kind
of like a band-aid). Then, reapply paper mache over the repair
the mask. I suppose you could use other paint, but I really prefer
acrylic paint. Spray the mask when dried with clear acrylic sealer.
Do this before adding any feathers, glitter, metal scraps or anything
else as final touches.
Copyright 2000, revised
2012 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.