Friday, November 8, 2013

My Bear Mask With Plaster Gauze

I'm going to Grad School at Plymouth State University in NH to become certified to teach art. I'm having a great time and learning so much!

This is meant to have the face be vertical,
but my background wasn't big enough! Sorry!

The class I'm taking this semester is Art Methods and Materials For Elementary Education and it is SO FUN! We get to make art! Oh yeah, and write lesson plans and research papers...BUT, MAKE ART!

As a mom of four and doing all sorts of other things over the years, I don't make time for my own art--I'm not sure what my own art even is after all this time. But, I've been enjoying making art for this class. The last project we did was create a mask using plaster gauze. I had done this about a million years ago when I was in high school, so I was excited to think about possibilities for my grown-up mask.

We were challenged to create a mask that represents us in some way and it needed to have some sort of extension of some kind (we could use Cellu-clay, plaster gauze, cardboard, etc. to make the extensions).

Ahhh...the possibilities! I started to think about what I would be known for at the end of my life and I thought, "Well, people would say I was a mom." Of course, this is among other things, but I take my mom job very seriously :-)

I thought about creating a totem pole on my mask of all of the totem animals of my children, husband, and I, but as I designed it, I didn't really like how it was going. Then I focused on me. My totem animal, right now, is the bear. So here I am wearing a bear mask over a human mask, because there's always a part of me that I keep private.

I love constellations, so I have Ursa Major and Minor in the night sky. I love silhouettes too, so on the left, under Ursa Minor, you'll see my four little cubs. My daughter's the last cub scurrying to catch up to her brothers. My oldest son is turning back and watching over his siblings (just like in real life). And, on the right, there's mom, under the constellation of Ursa Major.

I'm happy with the way the mask came out--I had wanted to incorporate twigs and beads and such, but I stopped here to rest for a bit and think. I really enjoyed making this project and I could see making a series of masks: a marriage mask, a Mrs. P-only mask, an artist mask...I think it would be interesting to see all of the masks I wear.

So what are you making lately? Are you inspired by the projects you teach your students?


  1. Very cool! Did you use the plaster gauze to cast your face? It's one of my favorite things to do!!

  2. Yep, we did! So fun! We were able to use cellu-clay and cardboard to add extensions. I used both. It was so fun!! Thanks for stopping by, Mrs. P


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