Primary materials: Papier-mache, cereal boxes, newspaper, flour.
I began this in 2007. It’s one of the first masks I made and the first time I used papier-mache in any significant way. I built a base out of cereal-box strips and newspaper, and then began putting papier-mache over that.
When papier-mache is wet, it is soft and moldable. When it dries it becomes very hard, almost like wood, and can be carved up with a rotary tool. It’s not a good idea to put on layers that are too thick, because the inside will get moldy before it dries, and because larger shapes will sag from their own weight. Because of these restrictions I had to make lots of layers, wait for them to dry, carve them, and then apply more wet material as needed.
I didn’t set any limit on perfectionism on this one. If I saw anything I considered to be not good enough, I fixed it. Sometimes this meant I ground off large sections and started over. Even though I wasn’t keeping track of the time, I’m fairly confident that I put the most time into this of any mask. Looking back on it now, for all that time I put in trying to make it perfect, I see things that aren’t perfect!
Why five faces? I thought it would be cool to have a face on every side. I don’t remember if I saw the Chronicles of Riddick when I started this. There’s a character in that movie named Lord Marshal, who has a helmet with faces on the sides. I maybe saw him in the trailers. I remember an episode of The X-Files where this guy is telling Scully about angels, and we see a vision of a being with animal faces on each side of its head. I think the episode was “All Souls.” I do recall thinking about that image as I carved this.
I originally wanted to paint it black and gold. I also thought about blue and gold. But I hadn’t painted much at this point, and after putting in so much work, I didn’t want to mess it up with bad painting. I made a test mask to practice a painting technique, but didn’t feel the results were right for this project, and so this remains unfinished.
This fits pretty well. Even though it’s heavy, the weight is balanced on top of the head, so it is wearable.