Need

It has been nearly a year since I created a mask.   I only realized this recently when the hunger to do so came on me suddenly.  There has been too much going on in life for me to stop and look around for the faces hidden about me.  My dusty supplies, and my clay which has mold on it (yuck!) make my hands itch to create.

I have taken steps.  My clay class begins this coming Monday.  By this time, for me, the class serves more as studio time than a normal class.  It makes me take a couple of hours in the evening to work, and it lets me join with other people to fill and fire the kilns.  I want to do other work as well, though.  The hardest question is, what do first? There are a few masks waiting to be finished, and they have my attention, but after that?

There are a myriad of shells in wait. Then again, I have done four shell masks already.

I have a few boxes of found-objects, from bones to keys. These things produce surprising results, and I have a mess of ideas.  I look over my work to date, and there are some things I want to try again.  There are things I think I could do better, or just differently.  I have never worked with leather or wood, and both are things I would like to try.

Deciding seems impossible, I may just have to flip a coin, or ten coins, or twenty… but the point is, it’s time to see faces again.

Then comes the harder question of what to do with these masks once I make them. Oy…

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About jubilare

Just another tree in the proverbial forest. Look! I have leaves! View all posts by jubilare

21 responses to “Need

  • Melpomene

    Why, you give them to me, of course!

    These are beautiful, and so fun! I really like the tree and the curly-cue one. Have you ever made on with stylized curly-cue leaves?

    • jubilare

      I do give them to friends sometimes, and indeed I intend to make a couple specifically for friends this time around, so there is a chance. I also take suggestions or commissions from time to time.

      Do you mean the fifth and the sixth down? The root-man is the one everyone seems to love, which makes me smile because when I made it I thought it would only be dear to me, strange as it is. I made one similar to it on commission once. The open-work swirly one is the most difficult mask I have ever made. It’s porcelain, and shattered a number of times during the process. I am thinking about trying one like it again.
      As far as leaves go, I’ve made masks that have actual leaves for hair, and masks patterned with the imprints of leaves, but I haven’t thought about curly-cue leaves. What do you envision/what is the inspiration?

      • Melpomene

        I do wear masks on occasion, so if I have need of a specific one I will keep you in mind!

        The stylized leaves I was envisioning were something like this:

        But I realize in retrospect how ridiculously difficult that would be. So never mind! ;-)

        • jubilare

          The clay ones cannot be worn (way too heavy!) but some of my found-object and papier mache ones can, and if I learn to make masks of leather, they ought to be wearable too!

          Hm… that would be very difficult in open-work clay, but as a design on clay, or an open-work design in some other material, like paper, it would be quite doable!

  • Colleen

    Goth Pig still scares me! Can’t wait to see what other “furniture” you have in your head!

    • jubilare

      Poor Gothpig… as a vessel of frustration, depression, and angst he is apt to look quite scary, but remember I owe him a great debt of mental health. To me he will always be adorable to me for that.
      I think you are averse to teeth in masks, as you don’t like the Blue Oni either. :)

  • Colleen

    Question: Would you rather I did not repost your blog on my page for others to see? What about my reposting it on the alumni page? More people who know you need to read your blog.

  • Urania

    Wow, I’m impressed. I’m not very visually creative/imaginative, and I’m always delighted to see what comes out of the minds of my artistically-gifted friends.

    It’s fun to imagine what sort of person would wear each of these. The one with the feathers kind of reminds me of Cirque du Sole. It’s wearer ought to be a somewhat flashy magic user in a fantasy world, methinks.

    • jubilare

      I think that the visual arts, and maybe all the arts, are capable of being cultivated. Certainly some people are more adept at it in the beginning, and there are occasional visionaries, but if you want to cultivate a visual artistic aesthetic and creativity, you certainly can. Of course, you may not want to. :)

      :D Imagine away. To me, the masks are almost people themselves. Certainly my dear Gothpig, there at the end, is more creature than mask and I have a couple of dryad-like masks with bark skin and leaf hair. I started making masks in college, and my senior exhibit was a faux museum exhibit containing, if I remember right, 14 masks from five distinct periods in a fictional culture. It was fun imagining what sort of culture would create these masks and for what purposes. My grandmother even asked me if it was a real culture despite the rather ridiculous premise.

  • David

    I had no idea you could make things like this! They’re all beautiful (except for Gothpig, but he seems to have served a good purpose for you), and look to be of a very professional quality. Certainly I could see them in stores. Interesting stores. Renfaires. Maybe Venetian stores.

    I’m delighted that you have this talent. Do the masks you design ever show up in your stories? (Perhaps I should be reading more of your stories to find out, instead of being lazy and asking you…)

    • jubilare

      Heheh, Gothpig is beautiful only to me, I think. He certainly wasn’t made with outward beauty in mind. :)
      Thank you for the compliment!

      So far, no masks have come up in my stories, though my brother has characterized me and my masks, in a delightful way, in a story he is planning to write (if I can goad him into actually writing it).

  • bekindrewrite

    Oh my goodness. I was just scrolling through my subscriptions, skimming, because I really should be going to bed, but I really wish I actually read my subscriptions, at least occasionally, and here are these incredible masterpieces!

    Why are you not on Etsy? Why are you depriving the world of these gorgeous creations???

  • Khazâd Part III: Creation « jubilare

    […] from loving creation, to wishing to create. I find myself compelled, through my awe of matter, to shape small pieces of my world. This is why I identify so strongly with the Dwarven love of […]

  • laurachristinascott

    These masks look incredible! I can see why you had an interest in the ones that I was making. I am having the issue that if I make them too heavy they will not be wearable… which becomes a bit of an issue when it comes to how much I can play with clay or even plaster. I played with expanding foam but it is extremely messy and probably won’t ever again. I considered using tinfoil in my next creation to lighten the weight of the overall mask by using tinfoil as a light base and then coating it with plaster strips afterwards. Haven’t tried it yet but hoping that it will be successful!

    • jubilare

      Thanks! I started making them in college and haven’t been able to stop since. That was about ten years ago, now.

      As far as material with a good weight/workability ratio, have you used pulverized papier-mâché/paper clay? It is very light when dry, fairly strong, and you can work it like soft clay when wet, or firmer clay while nearly dry.
      That is what the shell mask, above, is made from. Sometimes I use a thin layer of plaster strips, like your masks, and then a layer of papier-mâché. I sometimes use acrylic medium, too, depending on what I am doing. I hope that helps! Good luck, and I look forward to the results. :)

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