Salsa Verde

Front right of green bottle-plastic mask. It is made of overlapping plates that create a rounded shape. An eye slit is cut across one plate. Each plate has black edging and black patterns drawn on it. A pincer comes out each side of its head.

Primary materials: Plastic from gallon water bottles, braided thread, markers.

In the anatomy of the gallon water bottle, there is a section below the handle that is well suited for making overlapping plates. I layered 12 of these together in a long strip and then rolled them into this wheel shape.

I added the pincers to create a circular shape on the horizontal axis. They are an innovation in that they’re longer than any pincer-type element I had previously made.

Left side of green mask. Its shape is almost a full circle in profile. A twisted black spiral is drawn in the middle of its side, where the pincer comes out.

It took a while to figure out what to do for the eyes. Unlike a lot of masks, this one doesn’t have a face or any particular place where eyes “should” go. I didn’t want to put arbitrary holes in it.

After some experimentation with eye shapes and air holes, the front of this turned into a mess. One of the challenges of this medium is that there’s no undo button on plastic. It can take an hour to put something in, a few seconds to cut it, and an hour and a half to get back to a position to try again. On the second attempt I decided to go with something straightforward and streamlined, and I think it fits the look of the mask fairly well.

I had just made a mostly red and orange mask before this and wanted to go in a different direction with the colors. I’d never made a green bottle mask, so I decided to try that.

Top of mask before plastic has been colored. The plastic is semi-transparent. The pincers made of bottle handles wrap from the side of the mask to the front.
Before coloring. The semi-transparent plastic can create some interesting patterns when layered.