Tall, narrow wooden mask with a white face and black eye slit across the middle. Red, saw-tooth patterns with black accents around its edges.

Primary materials: Pine boards, epoxy, acrylic paint.

This is one of those projects that evolved a lot during construction. I was originally inspired by finding some small pine boards in a dumpster. I had the idea of making a quick, not-too-serious mask with a somewhat primitive aesthetic—the design largely based off the wavy patterns I could create using a scroll saw.

At one point, this was a lot more rounded, with big eyes and a V-shaped smile cut into it. You can see the remnants of this smile and the early shape if you look at the under layer of wood, especially on the side picture. But as I held up various scraps of wood with the negative wavy pattern created by the process of scroll sawing waves into the boards, I saw potential for a taller, more complex mask. I decided to go with an eye slit rather than individual eyes because it seemed visually fitting (and I had never done this before, so I wanted to try it out). The more I worked on this the more symmetrical it became. I made sure the hollow out a space for the wearer’s nose.

Right side of mask. The layering of the wood sections is visible. It is strapped to a mannequin head supported by a grey pole.

Besides being the only wooden mask I’ve made, this is the first face-mask that has a robust systems of straps to hold it to the wearer’s head. I originally wanted to use coconut-fiber rope. I spent some time experimenting with it. The main problem with the coconut rope is that it has no give, and some stretchiness is extremely helpful in getting mask straps to fit. I switched to a combination of elastic straps, Velcro, and leather.

For being a fairly heavy length of wood with no padding strapped to your face, it is quite comfy.