There are lots of ways to make masks. The mask above is a simple one, made from plaster gauze bandages and Bondo. It was then painted with Gesso and black acrylic paint. A simple cord in the back makes it wearable for ritual or performance.
Masks can also be made in paper mache, wood, cardboard, paper, metal, sculpey, leather or other materials. There is no right way to do it, but there are many techniques that work well. Below you will finds links to some sites that explain how to make masks.
Masks have the power to make things "larger than life" and transport you into the realm of archetypes. Masks have the power to transform the consciousness of both the wearer and the viewer.Masks can cover part of the face, the whole face, or even the whole upper body. Almost all human cultures have a Mask Tradition; it is usually associated with spiritual or initiation rites.
Below is an example of a more complex Goddess Mask made of leather and mixed materials by Mask artist Lauren Raine.
Lauren Raine speaks about her Goddess Masks
I created these masks for an exhibit sponsored by the Goddess 2000 Project (www.spiralgoddess.com), and a Processional at the 1999 Spiral Dance in San Francisco, with Starhawk and the Reclaiming Collective. There are many scholarly works about the Goddess. Among them, I recommend the works of Marija Gimbutas, Riane Eisler, Starhawk, and Elinor Gadon.
The Divine Feminine is returning at last to the world, and whether we personalize Her as the Goddess within every woman (and man), or call Her Gaia, the living, self-regulating planet James Lovelock proposed in his Gaia Hypothesis, I believe we are at last moving toward a whole humanity within the great family of our Mother Earth.
When I was a child, my first paintings were of the bull dancers of ancient Crete, and their bare-breasted, snake entwined Goddess. I don't know why I had to paint Her, but I do know that my 5th grade teacher was embarrassed by my obsession with the imagery…this project brings me great joy! Before I began working on the series, I decided to begin each mask with something personal to inform my creative process. I'd like to share here some of these writings, which I hope will become, with others, a collection of essays in the future.
I wish to offer my gratitude to all those who made these masks possible: to the incarnate Goddesses whose plastercast faces and radient spirits went into the masks, to those who wear them and thus bring them to life - and especially to Abby Willowroot of the Goddess 2000 Project, and Macha, Starhawk, Vibra, Judy, Amie and the Members of Reclaiming for giving me a project I've been waiting a lifetime for.
Lauren Raine, 1999
Lauren's Goddess Masks can be seen online at Rainewalker Gallery
There is great power to having Sacred Masks in your community. Mask Ritual and Sacred Performances bring people together in powerful ways. They form the foundation for new traditions and celebrations for individuals, covens and larger groups. Making a Goddess Mask is an amazing experience that is more fun than you can imagine. It is Sacred Play that results in Sacred Art.
M. Macha NightMare created "Goddesses Alive!" aka "A Rainbow of Goddesses", a very powerful Performance-Ritual using 13 of Lauren Raine's Goddess Masks. I hope what Macha has done will inspire others to create ways for sharing their Goddess Masks and Artwork with the wider community.
We are a Sacred People and our Sacred Imagery is groweing daily....Thanks to You All!
Here are Links that can give you all the information to make wonderful Masks.
Have fun, get into the spirit of play and ask your friends to join you!
Remember . . . . . No One can bring Your Vision to Life except You!
Mask Making Instructions