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Often I make a mess first time around. Making a mess of yoru leather masks often teaches you more than getting it right first time. Just go and do it. Leather is made of animal skin. It tends to come from cattle and pigs. If you are vegetarian them this could cause you problems. To make leather the hide is tanned and all the natural oils and fats are removed from the skin. These chemicals are replaced by other chemicals. The type of tanning gives different types of leather. I believe that leather was originally tanned in the urine of the cattle. That would be make for fun leather masks, huh? Oil cured or chrome leather is used for shoes and garments. This type of leather is soft and elastic. Rawhide is made from salt cured leather and is quite stiff. Vegetable tanned leather is treated with oak bark and other plant extracts. As these chemicals are soluble in water it is possible to use their properties to the artist's advantage. When the leather is damp it can be bent, shaped, carved and stretched. Once it has returned to the dry state it keeps the shapethat you have forced it into. Vegetable tanned leather opens the door to amazing creative possibilities for the craftsperson creating leather masks. Which leather to use for your leather masks The best choice for this type of work is top grain vegetable tanned. Go for a thinner leather such as the 3 / 4 oz grade. This allows for flexibility and ease of use when shaping the piece. Thicker leather may be used but can be harder to use. Start thin and get used to the techniques and then you may wish to use a thicker piece. Tools All kinds of tools may be bought; the essentials are Hands A good sharp knife with a heavy duty blade, e.g. Stanley Knife for long straight cuts A lighter scalpel such as a X-acto for small detail Heavy duty fabric shears for cutting curves Steel Straight edge Modelling spatula - you can use a spoon for this.
Any parts which do not go as you intended can be dampened again with a water spray and reworked. will mark your mask unless you protect it. stretch it. The method Begin by softening the leather Place it in warm water for just a few minutes. You will also need formers to shape the leather over.As you begin to understand more about the medium you will appreciate the value of the different tools. I have a glass model head which I use for mask projects. One suggestion I have come across for applying a metallic finish is Rub n'Buff. greasy fingers. One suggestion is Satin Sheen. Colour and applied decorations Leather dyes work best but you can use acrylic paints. etc. eave for 1 to 2 hours. For alcohol based dyes you can use sponges. It must be not too dry and not too soft. Don't worry about precision at this stage. Leave it to dry for about 30 minutes. Simply apply it when the leather is dry rub it on. If you have some sort of face former to use this is good. Then is the time to begin to buy specific modelling tools as you need them. With experience you will recognise that the time is right as the leather will begin to shape really easily. crease it. Stick to the task and get done what you can. Finally you do need a glaze or varnish to cover your beautiful finish. Remember water. Remember wash your hands regularly then you will not get gease from your fingers onto the leather. This gives a transparent matt finish. In the first stages remember there will be frustrations. Bend the leather. it makes it hard to colour in the final stages. Timing is essential. If you don't then you will either have to learn how to cast in plaster and make your own mould or buy one. Now go to town and really create the effects that you want. Force the leather with your hands into the mould shape to get the initial impression. . Drain and pat it dry with a towel or similar absorbent paper or fabric. If you are applying paints use the normal brushes that you enjoy. your own home made applicators or brushes. let it dry and burnish with a cloth.
work through a sample to "trouble shoot" what might go wrong. Objectives: Students will • • • • Show awareness of culture . As you practice you can only become more and more skilled. As I said before do experiment and do expect to go wrong sometimes.This is a very brief introduction to a very skilled set of processes in creating leather masks.understanding of Mardi Gras Design a Fantasy Mask using carnival masks fro inspirations Mold and shape leather to form a 3 dimensional mask Embellish/paint mask to add to aesthetic qualities Preparation: Make some cast plaster face molds (pour plaster inside plastic mold forms). Click images for larger views .
interesting leather masks Sample Leather Masks • • • Leather mask. Student research for ideas. 'Blue Butterfly' Leather mask. Use the simple mask form. Present some background information on Mardi Gras (may show PowerPoint of masks).com/leathermasks. Design a mask (research leather masks on the web to help give you inspiration). 2. Leather is very expensive be sure to make use of the space on the leather hide wisely! 3. 2. Now it is time to use the leather. C a) lay the pattern/s on the leather b) tape it to the leather so that it will not move when you are tracing the pattern with a pencil.anymask. 'Spotted Jaguar' Video On Demand Making and Using Ritual Masks Motivation: 1. To make a pattern take a 11x17 (28 x 43 cm) piece of paper and fold it in half. Using an X-ACTO knife: cut out the traced pattern with sharp X-acto Knives . From here add on to your design. .Angel Mask See these Spanish Leather Carnival masks http://www. Cut out the eye socket areas.html Duncan Eagleson Shapeshifter Masks . 'Blue Macaw' Leather mask.Materials: 3 to 4 pound weight tanned leather (or Leather Sides ) Plaster cast face forms heavy duty shears X-acto Knives Wood modeling tools Assorted Paint and embellishments Resources: See Carnival Mask Lesson Plan Leather Masks from the Merchant of Venice .3 to 4 lb weight tan leather (Note: Christina gets her leather from Napa Leather Hide Co. Demonstrate processes Procedures: 1. Cut it out cutting through both folded layers. which gives the eye and nose placement as the starting base. in Napa.
Or glue the leather thongs to the back of the mask covered by two small square pieces of leather. Write brief critique. 10. fold. Now it is time to use the plaster face mold: a) place the mask on the plaster mold. 8. or curl the leather achieving the desired effect. feathers.4. ¼ inch long near the eye area which will be used for attaching a leather thong so that you can wear your mask. Make sure the mask: fits you face and the eyes slots are in the correct place You may have to make some slight adjustments. jewels or whatever you like to decorate your mask! Finish/embellishments must be aesthetically pleasing. Use a blow dryer to set the leather in place: The heat will keep the leather in place as you shape your leather mask. b) place the leather between two towels removing the excess water. 5. . using wooden tools and your fingers. 11. If the leather dries out rewet the leather and continue to work the leather. Reflect on meaning and purpose of mask. twist. make sure the mask fits Cut two slits on each side. as you work the leather: 7. c) depending on the style of the mask you may want to pinch. to hold the shape b) continue to work the leather. 6. 9. Use Acrylic paints. When you are done. Now you are ready to wet the leather: a) drench the leather with water.
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