The Masks

   by Linda Farris for Re-Invent a Work of Art (2013)

Inspiration Piece: The Mask

Inspiration Artist: Erté - 1912 Drawing and book

I started with the steel wire to form the skirt shape. Then I separated the top and bottom layers of cardboard "paper" from corrugated of box. Painted strips of paper gold and pink for skirt. Glued gold strips to steel wire sections of skirt. Included photo showing how had to hold in place with clamps to dry. Cut curved shapes from pink and layered them for outside of skirt. Also curled ends to add dimension. Then formed large figure and two small dancers from steel wire. Covered smalls with polymer clay. Made a "paper paste" with packing, glue and water in a blender. Used this to fill out shape of large figure. Have pics. When dry, covered this form with the wax clay and painted her. Created her bodice with cardboard from box. The topis canvas. The sleeves are canvas. Used dyed packing material strips for the roses, which were made using a rose tool (made putting a large needle into a wooden dowel and cutting the threading end open). The leaves for roses and bottom of large lady's bodice were made from dyed green packing material. Her hair was made by glueing threads from canvas over a cone of cardboard in a wavy pattern. The large base was made with the wood provided. I cut a block to make the curved end pieces, and cut rounds for the front of theater.
The small figures were made from polymer clay and painted. The clothes on female and collar on male were made from painted cut box cardboard. The female hair was pieces of rope glued together and painted . Corrugated parts of box were used for the name Erté on box, the design on box and the background design in theater as well as on main figures dress. The dowel rods were used as stage decoration and painted and covered in dyed packaging material. The "paper clay" I made was also used to mold the shapes in back of stage and on sides of box. The small wax pellets were used to decorate her cardboard fan and for the necklace. Painted steel wire and packaging strips were used for the mask she is holding. The stained packaging strips also served to add design to sleeves of dress, wound in hair and at waist and to trim place where sleeves meet top of dress. I used alcohol dyes, pearlized paints, metallic paints and acrylic paints to color my pieces.

This was a lot of fun. It took a lot of time especially separating all the box into material I could use for fabric since our canvas piece was so small. Some of my pictures are actually video but I could not get them to work on my computer. Some are just pictures. I started with my iphone but ended with just pics. Hope this is not confusing.