Masks have been in use since an­tiq­uity for both cer­e­mo­nial and prac­ti­cal purposes. They usu­ally rep­re­sent su­per­nat­u­ral be­ings, fan­ci­ful or imag­ined fig­ures. A chat with four renowned mask mak­ers

The Ideal Home and Garden - - Contents - IM­PRES­SIONS: BENOY SE­BAS­TIAN

Fall in love with the art of cre­at­ing masks


Beckie fell in love with the­atre at a young age. She en­joyed do­ing makeup for her­self and other ac­tors. She was al­ways cre­at­ing art, and her favourite art classes were ce­ram­ics and sculpt­ing. Beckie says, “Mask mak­ing in­volves dif­fer­ent medi­ums for the multi-step process of sculpt­ing, mould­ing, cast­ing and paint­ing”. Her favourite is the tac­tile plea­sure of ma­nip­u­lat­ing clay, watch­ing a char­ac­ter emerge un­der her hands. She has trained her­self in the­atri­cal prop­mak­ing, work­ing with a va­ri­ety of ma­te­ri­als. Over the years her work has evolved into full-fig­ure sculp­ture, often with masks serv­ing as a metaphor­i­cal func­tion within the sculp­ture. She con­tin­ues to cre­ate masks for the­aters and gal­leries. Many of her new­est pieces are over­sized faces for out­door dis­play. Her ad­vice to as­pir­ing young mask artists - study fa­cial anatomy, so you have a solid foun­da­tion from which to de­sign and sculpt your imag­i­nary char­ac­ters. Ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent clay and mask ma­te­ri­als. Use books, mu­se­ums and the In­ter­net to re­search mask artists and masks of dif­fer­ent cul­tures for in­spi­ra­tion, ma­te­ri­als and tech­niques.

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