The First Mask Made For Festivals
When you lack expertise in some departments, you can always make up for them in others.
As a person who considers themselves to not be very good at drawing, I’ve often compensated with lots of detail. It was this style of thinking that lead to creating a lot of work for myself to build what is essentially a very simple mask. There is nothing wrong with doing things this way and often it’s a great way to learn. I have not given this mask a name but here is a blurry picture of it.
How it was meant to be…
My original thoughts with this mask were to cover it rhinestones so that when the sun or lights caressed it’s beautiful face, it would shine like a little disco ball. My inspiration came very loosely from the amazing and intricate art made by the Huichol people who use tiny glass beads to make intricate patterns over sculptures and artifacts. One day I will do a version two of this project and make it better with the skills I learnt from this one.
Get Mask Materials Cheap and Then Punish Yourself
I have found Ebay and China to be a great source for cheap materials. Ten thousand plastic rhinestones for only $7! What a bargain! Cheap glass beads and plastic masks that seem to fit my face perfectly. The rainbow coloured fur I had left over from another project. In total, making this mask cost about $10 in materials and forty hours in labour.
How Many Hours in Labour?!
Yep, you read that right. It took about 40 hours and some serious binge half-watching Star Trek. Every single little rhinestone and glass bead was attached individually using a toothpick. I started with super glue but it was very problematic to work with and I ended up with a lot of beads stuck to my fingers. 2 hours in with about 50 rhinestones stuck to the mask (that covered the left side of the nose) I decided to change glues. I used PVC glue even though I knew it would not stick to the plastic mask frame as well as the super glue. It was a lot more forgiving and peeling the glue from your fingers is always fun too. It reminds me of the lizard people in the original ‘V’ Series and how they would peel there pretend human skin off their faces. Gross, I know!
That Was a Big Mistake
Somehow the chemical composition of the PVC glue was reactive with the backing on the rhinestones and caused them to lose there multi-coloured lustre and become clear plastic. Damn! The mask was still ok but didn’t turn out how I wanted. My next thought was to try and fix it by getting some ‘mirror finish’ spray paint. It’s stuff you can use on glass so that it cas a smoky looking mirror finish.
After a quick respray, the paint just ended up looking silver and not metallic at all. Oh well!, Perhaps you have some good ideas on how I could have done things differently.