Mask made by mmmaciej at Plump Art Studio. Untitled, mixed media

The First Mask Made For Festivals

By Plump Art Studio / July 13, 2017

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…

Read More
Colourful photo digital art image of person psychedelic

How to make your art and photos look great.

By Plump Art Studio / February 9, 2017

Big Fat Lines: How to make your photos look great. Most people have played around with filter apps on their phones to make their great photos look even better. App stores offer a variety of them and they are lot of fun to play with. While it is fun it’s generally not something a serious photographer or artist would use. Well probably not anyway. Sometimes it is good to use these tools as an intermediate step when altering your digital photography or art. I also think you shouldn’t limit yourself only to apps. The web is full of really cool tools for altering your images and we will continue to let you know about them! I discovered one such tool not to long ago. is a fun tool for images. You upload an image to the site, then some computer happens and you have a new image. If you use Twitter, you can find the author @LINIFYme. Using filters to inspire better art. This is a fun tool to have a play with and it makes great images on its own, but you could take it to the next level using GIMP or Photoshop. Play around with various filters…

Read More
Mask Make Face Blazing Swan Party Festival

Making Faces: An easy way to look sexy at festivals

By Plump Art Studio / January 5, 2017

Facing it Let’s face it, many cultures throughout the earth use masks as part of expressing their history and cultural mythologies along with songs, stories, festivals and the like. To my dismay, they are not really part of contemporary Australian culture. Maybe in a few hundred years as our history grows and we develop mythologies and stories that reflect the modern Australian community they may become part of it. Perhaps this article will inspire some people to get out from in front of the screen and make a beautiful mask. Make sure if you do, you document your process as guest writers are welcome on this blog. It’s Not Gurning! Gurn ɡəːn/ verb BRITISH pull a grotesque face. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to make beautiful and interesting masks. The same applies to hideous masks which are also quite beautiful! There are so many materials laying around the streets, nature and at op shops that you will quickly amass boxes of interesting ingredients to help you cook up some mind bending new faces. A great example of this is a mask a musician friend of mine made recently and used for his performance at the Swan…

Read More
'Umoya' Cardboard and foam mask. 2016.

Masks made from cardboard are crap

By Plump Art Studio / December 26, 2016

‘Real’ masks are from something else… It has always seemed to me that cardboard masks are something you make in primary school. If I wanted to take this art seriously then I was going to use everything but, because masks made from cardboard are crap. It appears that I was wrong. This material is cheap, versatile and with the right finishing treatment you can get some great results. I had gotten my hit of inspiration from watching a friends band play a gig. The keyboardist Rodrigo borrowed my ‘Sun God’ mask but the guitarist Tris made his own out of cardboard, paint and other bits.  It surprised me how great it was and so I decided to give it a try. The Birth of Umoya; A Cardboard Mask ‘Umoya’ mixed media mask. 2016. A visitor to Perth from the Savannah. Travelling as the wind into Fremantle, this friendly spirit loves to party and get arty.  My original intent with this project was fairly simple; cut out some cardboard and paint it. This is a great idea and one I will experiment with in the future, but as I often do, I got distracted. Some months earlier I bought some EVA…

Read More
Polypress print by mmmaciej

Discover Polypress Relief Prints

By Plump Art Studio / September 19, 2016

Polypress Relief Printing: A New Discovery? Sometimes it is quite rewarding to think outside the box. Today has reaped such reward and I’ve made a new discovery in the world of printmaking: Polypress relief prints. This technique brings a whole new style of creativity to the world of printmaking! As the discoverer of this new technique I figure I get to name it and it shall be named… Polypress! Poly meaning many, and press because that’s what you do. What are Polypress Relief Prints? Polypress relief prints are made on a special type of PVC that you press with a nail, pin or similar object. I have also used lino cutting tools on it with great success and it holds an amazing amount of detail.  Even the smallest pinpricks show up in the print! For my very first test of polypress I used a pen to draw and press on the sheet. Once I finished this sketch I inked it up with some oil based ink and made a few quick prints to see if it works, which it did! A good proof of concept but this little sketch did not really test the substrate as a printmaking medium enough.…

Read More
How to make reduction linocuts. Learn Printmaking

9 Amazing Facts About Reduction Linocuts That Will Blow Your Mind!

By Plump Art Studio / August 27, 2016

Reduction Linocuts There are many ways to make colourful prints but one of my favourite is reduction linocuts. It is a method of relief printmaking where you only use one plate to make all the colour plates for your print. They are sometimes referred to as ‘suicide‘ prints. If you want to learn about printmaking then this is a great second step because: Colourful prints are beautiful! You will learn about registration. You will see how inks interact with other. There are ample opportunities to learn to deal with frustration. You’ll find out how many colours you can pile up on one bit of paper. You could discover that failure is OK because it’s a great teacher. You will challenge yourself and grow. It is likely you will get a great sense of achievement even if your linocut print isn’t perfect! All your friends will be very impressed with your skills (maybe…). Having gotten my hands on a new etching press, I decided to push the limits of my knowledge and experience. I wanted to open up new possibilities with printmaking! Previously I had used a baren or a wooden spoon to press my woodcuts and linocuts. This process is…

Read More
Dead Wood Mask

Carving ‘DEAD WOOD’, A Wooden Mask

By Plump Art Studio / August 9, 2016

Carving Beautiful Things. After some months of carving spoons I started wondering what else I could make with wood. Having been recently inspired to make masks for the Blazing Swan festival, it became obvious that this a carved wood mask would be the next step. Armed with a log of Fiddlewood (Citharexylum spinosum), some carving knives, an axe and some gouges, I started chipping away. As per usual there was no real plan for what I was making, I was after all, just experimenting. Other than mushrooms, there is another motif that I’m quite fond of which is skulls. Many years ago I was reading a zine (don’t ask, I can’t remember) and it had some kid asking a punk why punks always have skeletons in their artwork. To this the punk replied something along the lines of “we use skeletons because they’re humans without the judgement we make on gender, size, skin colour & ethnicity”. I always loved this and look at skulls with this thought often in mind. How fitting it is then, to make a carved wood mask in the shape of a skull! How the carved wooden mask ‘Dead Wood’ came together… My first goal was…

Read More
The Apocalyptomagic Mask. Made in early 2015.

Making the Apocalyptomagic Mask

By Plump Art Studio / August 1, 2016

Learning to create masks. When it comes to making masks, I am still experimenting and learning.  Finding good information on the internet is sometimes difficult especially if you don’t know what you are looking for. Sometimes you don’t start with a plan, you just start making and see where it goes.  This is how the ‘Apocalyptomagic Mask’ came into existence. It started with making a paper mache slop for the ‘Horny Cyclops’ hat and I had plenty of the said slop left over. I got the recipe off the net somewhere and stored it in my memory, which in hindsight was probably not the best idea.  I pressed the slop to a steel bowl and waited for it dry. After some days, I detached it from the bowl and it sat in the studio for a while until I thought to poke some holes into it. It suddenly became obvious that the ingredient I forgot from the seemingly great recipe was what made it stronger. You see, while filing the holes to make them smooth, the mask bowl fell to pieces which in turn made me somewhat sad and thus I decided to spend the rest of the day binge…

Read More