Materials: Water-based clay, glaze.
This is the first and only mask I have made out of clay. I didn’t throw it on a wheel but built it on top of an oval paper food container. That’s why it has this general shape.
Though it’s possible to make wearable ceramic masks, I knew my first attempt was going to be a little thick, and the paper bowl isn’t anywhere near a wearable size, so this was always intended to be a wall piece.
I didn’t have a design plan while building it. If you compare this mask to Stern Slate, you can see that there’s some basic shapes my brain goes to when I’m winging it design wise. With this one I tried to avoid some of the arbitrary shapes that I had included in Stern Slate. If I was doing this general design again, though, the main thing I would change is to make it less bottom heavy and fill out the forehead.
After a while I thought it got sort of a lizard and cuttlefish look to it. I added scale texture for visual interest.
It’s glazed with a combination of green, yellow, blue, and brown. I wanted to avoid reds because I thought that would be too much the obvious choice for something shaped like this.
When glaze is painted on, it looks dry and faint—quite different from the finished product.
I’d like to thank Julia for guiding me through this process. She provided materials, studio space, instruction, enjoyable conversation, and fired the mask. If it wasn’t for her initial invitation to come do some clay I wouldn’t have started this one, and if it wasn’t for her help along the way it wouldn’t have gotten finished.