I've always been fascinated with masks and history. Commedia del Arte combines the best of both and is the grand-daddy of improv theater to boot. The characters used simple plots and wore the same costumes and simple masks every night while making up the while thing as they went along. It was the most popular form of entertainment for nearly 200 years. The costumes and masks survive today as Carnivale standards around the world and the most popular of them all is Scaramouche.
A friend of mine had one of these carnivale masks of papier-mache that was practically falling apart as he perspires a lot and he brought it to me to see if it could be salvaged. http://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/274185_28Oct11_soggy_face.jpg
At Ren-Fair he calls himself Asagio Parmagianno. And he does an excellent Italian Commedia.
After some careful reshaping I took a mold off of the inside surface using plaster bandages, coated it with shellac to cut down the moisture absorbancy and used it as a form to remake the mask in leather. Here is the mold.http://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/medium/274185_28Oct11_form_top.JPG http://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/medium/274185_28Oct11_form_bottom.JPG
After wet-shaping the leather and hardening it with shellac it was taken off of the mold after drying.http://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/medium/274185_28Oct11_before_paint.JPG
The mask was then trimmed and a wire put in around the rim to strengthen it and make the mask last longer. It was lined with red velveteen and edged with gold metallic ribbon. (The photo was taken after the mask was finished)http://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/medium/274185_28Oct11_liner.JPG
Next the mask was painted and the leather strap attached. Finally it was sealed with several coats of shellac to make it moisture resistant.http://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/medium/274185_28Oct11_front_1.JPGhttp://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/medium/274185_28Oct11_right_2.JPG
Next Spring we should see Asiago with his new face again successfully courting all the ladies at the Utah Renaissance Festival and Fantasy Faire! Perspiration proof and lighter by 20 per cent than his papier-mache incarnation.
Here is what was actually the first incarnation of Asagio's new face. It was done in purple deerskin suede and painted with acrylic suing the same techniques as above, lined with black satin.
He liked it but said he really wanted the whole thing painted red and white with gold to match his costume and I didn't think I could get it to cover so I did the one above instead.http://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/medium/274185_29Oct11_front1.JPG http://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/medium/274185_29Oct11_satin_liner.JPG
After the final coats of shellac it turned much darker as the leather soaks up a lot of the liquid and gets VERRRY stiff!http://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/medium/274185_29Oct11_front2.JPG http://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/medium/274185_29Oct11_front_low.JPGhttp://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/medium/274185_29Oct11_left.JPGhttp://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/medium/274185_29Oct11_right.JPG
I still have this one and it attracts a ot of attention at my booth at the Faire. I've had offers, but don't know if I want to sell it as it is my first leather mask.