With my ‘Basico (High School) Art Class we’ve been making masks!

Here’s their wonderful creations finally finished and on display in the classroom.


It wasn’t an easy project as it required patience and took a number of classes.  Some kids really took to it, taking time to get noses right and choosing the right plumes! Others didn’t enjoy the messiness of papier mache, and wanted to paint their masks as soon as possible.


We started the project by making lots of patterned paper and doing self portraits.  In hindsight this isn’t something self-conscious teenage girls very much liked doing,  but some of them showed a real eye and it was a good activity to get the kids to think a bit about proportions etc.


Then the young people used their self-portraits as a guide for their mask forms, putting papier-mache onto a baloon.  The hardest (or the most boring part!) was building up the structure of the nose.


Once the masks were dry,  the kids painted their foundation coat of paint, cut eyes and smoothed edges.


Next we used the patterned paper made at the beginning to decorate our masks with accessories inspired by the animal kingdom.  Every form represented a different positive value:

Feathers: ambition

Horns: bravery

Whiskers: sensitivity

Ears: awareness


Kids were asked to choose the characteristics they saw in themselves or wanted to see in themselves.

Finally we put the finishing patterns on our masks..


It really pleases me how different each mask is.  Muchas gracias to LeeLee from Earth Lodge for all her help on this project.


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