Thursday, April 5, 2012

Masquerade Mask

 A local charity throws a huge dinner/auction each year to raise money to benefit young mothers in our community. They chose a Masquerade Party as their theme this year and asked several local artists - including myself - to create a mask that could be auctioned off at a preview party prior to the main event for guests to purchase and then use for the main event.

I created an Ice Queen named Iridesses.
My hubby came up with the name...most likely in reference to all the iridescent glitter I used in the making of her.
And, thanks to him, she has the perfect throne to sit upon!

I was given a plain white mask to work with. The first thing I did was reinforce the areas where I would be wiring on the metal crown and handle. I cut some heavy plastic and heated it in an oven to make it pliable enough to form to the shape of the inside of the mask. Then I glued it into place and drilled holes for the wire.

I wanted a little texture so I laid some cheesecloth over the forehead area and around one eye and then applied a very thin layer of plaster; immediately removing the cheese cloth. Once it was dry I sanded and painted it with a copper finish. I used pearlescent paint on the remainder of the face and a metallic mix of plum and gold for the lips. Lastly, I sprinkled super fine iridescent glitter sparsely over the entire mask and generously over the lips.

 I found a metal fan at a thrift store for $1.50 and used it as a crown. Originally it looked exactly like the fan pictured in the background of the photo below. I lightened up the look of it by using a jeweler's saw to cut some of the metal away. And since every queen deserves  jewels, I raided my addiction pile and found the perfect ones for an Ice Queen's crown. I drilled holes into the crown, inserted the jewels and used glue for extra strength. I topped it off with a light sprinkle of glitter over the entire crown and a heavy sprinkling along the top.
(This photo was taken before I applied the glitter)

I used a thrifted candle snuffer ($.99) for the handle.
I wired it and the crown to the mask. Then added a few more embellishments. The handle has sari ribbon draping from it and peacock feathers extending upward.

I brought home a $2.99 candle holder from a thrift store, handed it over to hubby and asked him to work his magic on it. He turned it into a throne by making a metal loop bracket for the handle to slide into and by cutting a piece of wood to act as a base to prevent the mask from sliding around. I painted them out to match the candle holder and added some plumage to look like a collar behind the mask.

I decorated the throne with more feathers.

And a little story about Iridesses.

I've never made a mask before but it was fun to do. I'm pretty happy with the way she turned out...kinda hate to pass her off! I just hope she brings in a few dollars for the charity.

As if the post isn't long enough already...
a few more close-ups of Iridesses.

Sharing with: French Country Cottage: Feathered Nest Friday, Happy-Go-Lucky: Shine on Friday, Here Comes the Sun: Fabulous Friday, Creation Corner: Friday Link Party, Funky Junk Interiors: SNS, Craft-O-Maniac: Monday Party, Polish The Stars: Party 61, It's Overflowing: Overflowing with Creativity, Not Just A Housewife: Show Me What Ya Got, Lil Pink Pocket: Show & Share, I Gotta Create: The Mother Lode


  1. She's beautiful! I can see why it'll be hard to let her go. :)

  2. OMG she is absolutely stunning! You have combined 2 of my favourite things - peacock feathers and masquerade masks, just perfect. Well done and the Charity will do well with her I'm sure x

  3. Wow, she's gorgeous! And to think she was made from mostly thrifted things! She must of taken quite a bit of time to make, especially with the cutout work on the fan. I'm sure she will do great at the auction and be the pride and joy of some lucky bidder!

  4. Kathy, she is truly AMAZING...what a beautiful creation! I know she will do well at the auction and be loved by her lucky new owner!

  5. This is very beautiful! I am from Italy and I have many masks from original artists in Venice, Italy. This is very impressive. I am a new follower, hope you will follow back or visit back! I love making masks myself. Everytime I go to Italy to visit family I have to go to Venice to go and get my fill of masks. Some are so big that I have to mail home because I can't take it on the plane with me. Beautiful Piece!

    Warmest Regards,

  6. How beautiful--and being a thrift shop junkie--I love that you found "treasures" that added to your creation! So--you are not only an amazing tennis player--but an artist, too! Very beautiful Kathy!

  7. That is fabulous Kathy! See you are pulling techniques from other lifetimes into your creation! Well done!

  8. It is just wonderful! I hope it pulls a high bid! Didn't you want to keep it once it was finished? : )

    Saw your necklace on Stampington's post script today - lovely!

  9. This is literally perfect. I completely want to go nuts with painting masquerade masks now :P Well done.

  10. Fantastical, beautiful....I LOVE Iridesses! You are amazingly talented, Kathy! Thanks so much for sharing your generous creation at The Mother Lode linky party over at I Gotta Create!
    <3 Christina

  11. Wow you are talented, the mask you created is fantastic...I sooo want one

  12. I'm not generally one for masks - they kind of creep me out a little bit - but this is gorgeous!! And I love that she has a name - makes me want to write a story about her!!

  13. I think the mask is looking very pretty with jewellery embellishments...what a beautiful idea after all !!!

  14. amazing piece. very creative how you put so many elements together!


  15. This is beautiful beyond belief. I am so impressed. Absolutely gorgeous. And how sweet of your husband to help out.

  16. Wow it's stunning! Did it take long to make? You have a unique talent!

  17. Your articles are really fit authorized and incomparable.
    masquerade masks


I look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

Have a great day!