Masks have always fascinated me. They let us become someone else - something else. Whether they are used in religious ceremonies, theatre, parades, or masquerades, they let us channel the other. We can be both hidden and exposed by a mask - letting emotions, actions, and behaviors in and projecting them out in a way we cannot or will not without them.
In terms of creating them, I have always been drawn to making masks that reference nature and mythology and/or fairytales in some way. The personification of plants, animals and places. Pieces that speak of both birth and decay. The hidden spaces. The magical places that call us to them and repel us at the same time. What do you become when you put on a mask? What do you reveal even as you hide? Can you see yourself as someone else? Something else? How does it feel? Try one on and see.
I'd like to thank AL FOOTE III THEATRICAL PHOTOGRAPHY who took most of these fabulous photos. A big thank you as well to Virginia Logan and Beth Ann Hopkins who braved the cold and snow in Central Park to model them. Click on photos to enlarge and hover for details.
The masks depicted here are art object, ceramic masks. I started making ceramic masks as another form of moving mediation. I rarely have a plan when I start. They clay tells me what it wants to be as I go along. Names and emotions come to me as I create. They all have their own story and belong in distinct worlds. You view them in slices, nooks & crannies. Most of them are highly influenced by nature. They are personifications of different landscapes - both the natural exterior and the emotional interior.
I use a variety of methods for surface decoration. Some are painted with underglazes, some with acrylics and a few have been Raku fired. Occasionally I'll add additional embellishments such as beads, precious metal foils or synthetic foliage.
Click on images to expand and hover for details.