Friday, January 27, 2012

sun and moon masks: yule 2011

this yule i made some masks for a winter solstice ritual celebrating the return of the sun.  i'm still a novice at mask making, but i felt much more confident with the process this time.  i'm definitely pleased with the results and impressed that these seemed to fit well even though i made them without measuring or molding the faces of the people that wore them.  that is the benefit of using model magic i think.  it remains slightly flexible even after it's cured. 

here's the sun god mask ready to dry.  i sculpted these both out of crayola model magic, just like the henry killinger mask.  again, it's hard to get a smooth surface (as is obvious here. it looks like the sun god has some severe acne scars ;) i didn't care too much this time because i knew i was going to  add glitter and several coats of varnish.

 the masks were built on top of some styrofoam wig stands i picked up at a thrift store for cheap.  i covered them with aluminum foil to prevent the clay from sticking to the foam.

 here's both of them drying in my studio.  i used the leftover black model magic from the killinger mask on the moon goddess.  that's why she looks weird here. yes, model magic comes in a bunch of colors. 
 here they are after priming and the base color was added.  you can see the surfaces are still rough, but it will get better.

unfortunately i didn't take any in-process shots of building the rest of the god mask, but here he is.  the mask is coated in a couple different types of glitter.  i used mod podge to glue it on.  there's finer gold around his eyes and mouth, coarser for the rest of the face.  to create the rays i cut apart a bunch of super glittery "christmas floral" stems in varying colors i found at the craft store.  he's almost a sun green man in that way.  the rays are all hot glued on.  (i love my high temp hot glue gun!)

here's the moon goddess after her glitter treatment.

 she is a half mask because she needed to vocalize during the ritual.  the asymmetry was supposed to be indicative of a crescent moon.  i'm not sure how successful that was, but i think she's still pretty.

 and here she is with her flora attached (yep.  these are supposed to be "christmas floral" pieces as well)  i loved these pieces because they reminded me of ice as well as silvery moon things.
 after the look was completed i proceeded to cover the masks in several layers of mod podge and spray varnish.  these puppies DO NOT spread glitter everywhere, thank you very much! 

here are two pics of me wearing the completed masks.  i wanted to show off how the eyes look through them since the photos of the people in the ritual don't show that.  i was going to cover the eye holes with black see through fabric, but decided against it.  i really like seeing the eyes.

 and here are the photos of the goddess and god in full costume.  she's covered in silver body paint.  it's subtle, but it worked really nicely.
 he put this costume together himself.  just fantastic!  and holy safety pins batman!

thanks so much for looking!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Huldra 2

happy new year readers! 
ok, that might be a little late. i realize that it's almost february, but i've finally worked out the kinks in my system of uploading photos and i can now blog in comfort on my wonderful laptop and not on the big computer that lives in the frozen minnesota basement!   
today i wanted to share with you a doll i made this december.  it was inspired by a doll i created just over a year before.  you can find that post here.  you see, there was a small girl taking a class in which the previous huldra was featured, and she decided that she wanted a huldra for christmas.  her mother, luckily, was able to contact me in time to make this happen!  it's such a delight to be able to fulfill the wishes of a child. 
it's always fascinating to me just how unique these dolls end up being.  yes, i change the colors a bit, change the outfit and such, but they always seem like such specific individuals before i've chosen much but the skin color.   right away i knew that this one would be traditional as well, but in an entirely different way than the previous huldra.


so i made her a bunad, a scandinavian folk costume. 

here you can see her tail as well as her removable apron.

i also added a little jingle in her step.  thinking of reindeer and red and that part of the world.

and here she is both with and without her apron.  i kept a similar hairstyle to the previous huldra, and of course, she needed the cowbell.  it is a part of her heritage after all.  :) 

here's a little close up portrait. note that i'm using different eyes now.  i think these are a wee bit more endearing than the 'pie-eyes' i used previously.  

thank you so much for looking!  i've got some exciting projects to post about, so i'll be back soon.
take care and have a great day!

Monday, January 23, 2012

craftster best of 2011

HOLY CRAP.... i should perhaps be concerned that these creepy little things will take over the world now, but i'm just really honored to be on this list.... check out the awesomeness that is the Craftster Best of 2011!

Craftster Best of 2011 Winner
I'm a Craftster Best of 2011 Winner!