Xothique's Journal

October 2, 2007

Leather Masks

Filed under: New Artwork — Xothique @ 1:27 am

I’ve been making masks out of papier-mache for a few years, now. I have no formal training, but having explored and researched many different techniques on my mask-making journey, I like to think I’ve served my apprenticeship. That is not to say that I am not open to learning new skills; far from it. I have recently discovered the joy of working in leather.

I have always wanted to create leather masks, but shied away from it for several years – I suffer from tendon problems in my arms, and working leather is quite intensive. The thought that I might do myself further injury always put me off. Earlier this year, however, the lovely people at The Identity Store in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, persuaded me to try a small sample of vegetable-tanned leather to see what I could do with it, and I haven’t looked back since. It’s such a gorgeous medium to work with. I love the way it moulds to a form, and the luxurious texture and feel of it. I’ve experimented with different grades of leather and different finishes, and I am confident that I will soon be able to showcase some unique new masks.

The good news is that so far I have been pacing the work quite carefully, and haven’t noticed any worsening of my symptoms. In case anyone gets the wrong idea, I am not giving up papier-maché. I like both media. There are effects that I can achieve in leather that I couldn’t with paper, and vice versa.

I am currently working towards the Hallowe’en and Christmas seasons, so expect to see some new and hopefully interesting designs over the coming months.


1 Comment

  1. Hello. I am a foundation art student at Braintree college. I’m currently doing my final major project, in which I have decided to focus on masks. I was wondering if you would be able to give me some advice on possible techniques and materials that would be good to work with. Any help would be greatly apreciated.
    Thanks, Charlotte.

    Comment by charlotte — May 9, 2008 @ 9:44 am

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