In the spirit of Halloween, I thought that the students would enjoy making masks. We first looked at some images of different masks from around the world.
We talked about what they were made of and the many uses of masks in different cultures; celebration, ceremony, and to possibly ward off evil. I wanted this lesson to be fun and allow the students to create a mask that was unique to their tastes, so I didn’t want to spend too long looking at examples. In an effort to try something new, we used cloud clay, specifically Crayola Model Magic to create the masks. About half of the students had used it before and were familiar with its properties. What I like about it, is that it is air dry and very light. So once the masks were dry the students would be able to wear them. Also, the colors mix really easily. So with a primary color pack you can make all kinds of interesting tints and shades of your favorite colors.
The students were given a choice to use a prefabricated eye mask as their base or a wire mesh armature that we would use to create an impression of their face. Then they used the cloud clay to cover the armatures and create their own masks. This was the first class where the students were laughing and talking the entire time. It was wonderful to see.
The final products were quite fun and each student created a unique piece. Next week we will be exploring the works of Vincent van Gogh and then making our own impasto painting. Be aware, this can get messy, so dress accordingly.