Posts Tagged ‘masks’

The store will be closed the weekend of June 23-24 since I will be a vendor at the Oxford Ren fest, just outside of London. This is the first year for us at this newer location but we’d been pretty regular when they were in Woodstock.

I’m moving away from the masks so will have a big selection along at great prices. The mutant stuffies, jackets and jewellery as well as some other oddities will also be under the tent.

As a result, the shop will be closed but we may be able to arrange it if you want to stop in. Just email or phone but I won’t be there for framing..



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IMG_6940It has been quite a while since I made a new batch of masks. I shouldn’t have taken so long a break, but kept getting distracted by stuffies and jewellery, since those are the bulk of what’s needed for shows. At any rate, a new group just got finished! They were done to use up the last of the edging lace. It makes beautiful crowns and is the best accent for the feathers I’ve found but, because it was salvaged, it was in limited supply. All the full crown masks made with it had found homes, so I decided it was time to just go ahead and use what was left. I stuck to most popular colour combos so there is one gold and black, (pictured), a gold and white and one silver and brown. The silver one also used up the last bit of the long natural coque feathers. It’s always hard to reach the end of a favourite supply, but I should look at as a chance to do something different. Either way, it’s going to be hard to see these ones go.

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I don’t often get into shows in Toronto, mainly since the length TBOTB_toronto2014halloween-web of the drive makes it difficult to go back and forth but I will in town for Bazaar of the Bizarre on October 12th. I love that it is one where we can come in, set-up, do the show and break down all in one day! We’ll be right downtown at 6 Noble street. The Pia Bouman Ballet school. It’ll be open to the public from 11am to 8pm. While the bulk of what I’ll have with me will be the mutant stuffies and Steampunk pretties, there will also be some masks along, since it’s so close to Halloween. The gallery will be open as usual but of course, I won’t be available to talk about framing. If you are in Toronto and want to stop by, feel free to let me know if there is anything specific you want me to bring along. Especially important to talk to me in advance about masks since I’ll only have a few samples with me. I also won’t be bringing any of the Steampunk supplies to put out, but can certainly make sure to have special requests available for pick-up.

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It’s been a while since I made a new batch of the Greenmen masks.  It’s been hard for me to find a good sized batch of oak leaves, so I’ve tended to use ivy for most of them. When I got lucky and came into a large number of realistic oak a while ago, it was finally time to to work on a batch using them. This was also the first time I used the new “eyeglasses” forms for a Greenman. (It’s one of the more common styles that people ask me for that can be worn over glasses) For this one, I went with the gold gilding and then painted the leaves in fall tones. (the other two Oak Kings are green/gold and copper/fall) It being my first time with this form, I ended up with it being a bit less symmetrical than I typically go for. I also think I’ll probably make the next one a bit bigger but it should still cover most styles of glasses. The fall tones work well with the gold, but I find they go best with the pure copper leaf.

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Ever since the ReStore Gala in the spring, I’ve been meaning to make a simpler

leather and beaded material steampunk owl mask

version of one of the pair that appeared there. This is the owlish one. The centre and beak are done with the beaded copper-toned material. The sides are from the vintage brown leather. I went with the standard eye shape, so it’s not as dramatically Steampunk as the first one. I’m still intending to do another that does have the round, asymmetrical eyes, but considering how that style is not as flattering when worn, I thought it might be good to have one that was a bit more wearable as an option. We’ll have to see which type finds an owner first!

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Recently, the last of my Spider masks sold and went on a journey to Australia. It’s actually the farthest, that I know of, that one of the masks has travelled and I thought it fitting that it was going to the land of terrifyingly huge spiders. It’s new owner told me it would be used in a performance piece but I had to wait a while to see it. (she was organized enough to give it plenty of travel time, even if it did get there really quickly) It was worn to help create the character of Arachne in “The Blood of Arachne” and was part of Free Fall 2012. Here’s their description of the piece:

Naomi Oliver will take on the mythical persona of Arachne  and interpret the monotonous weaving of her web  through materials and performance nstallation. Douglas, encased in a red body suit, becomes her hapless victim as he is trapped  by the enmeshed form of her threads. The work is a metaphorical interpretation of Douglas kidney disease that he has lived with since 2004 and explores themes around suffering and entrapment, body degeneration. illness and death.

You can even watch it on youtube!

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In the latest batch of more traditional masks I also did a pair of peacock ones.  I first tried trimming a mask with peacock feathers, within a year or so of starting to make the masks. At the time I wasn’t too happy with how they looked against the gold leaf and the pieces always felt a bit off to me so I didn’t come back to trying with them for years. Eventually, I also starting playing with gilding some masks with the variegated metal leafs. The busyness of the variation, on top of the lace detailing seemed a bit much and it wasn’t until I thought to pair those masks with the peacock feathers that it all came together. The addition of mixed colours of rhinestones also enhances the whole feel. I guess it’s a case of the fact that, on some level, I do think they border on being a little, well, gaudy. Not that it’s a bad thing, but it’s not typically my first choice of design direction. Considering how positively they’ve been received it goes to show that it’s a style that appeals to a good chunk of people. I guess that is true that occasionally, when something is a bit much, you have to add even more, to make it right.

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