With Halloween on the way, I wanted to make a mask for a costume and thought it would be a good excuse to try leather maskmaking. I’d used leather before in bookbinding and enjoyed working with the material, so it only seemed natural to have a go at using it for masks as well.
There was slightly more leather included in the delivery than I expected, but that just means I’ll have more to experiment with…
Leather mask making seems fairly simple. Soak the leather. Form the leather. Dry the leather. Paint the leather. I’m sure it gets more complicated when you want to engrave or singe designs into the surface, but for the moment it’s easy enough to make a form.
My first leather mask was an antlered half face mask with a rather large nose. I’d been watching the new Hannibal TV show, so Will Graham’s nightmare stag may well have crept into my subconcious only to be released in mask form, but it took a friend to point out the link!
The painted leather stag mask.
I had an odd-shaped piece of leather left over from where I’d cut out the stag, so I turned it into a smaller horned mask:
I actually like the form of this one more than the stag. For a start it’s less likely to poke people’s eyes out when they stand near you.
You’d think I’d start making the mask for the costume after that, but no: further distration ensued. I’d been wanting to make a Bioshock Splicer mask for a while, but thought the ears would be too delicate for a papier mache. Would it work in leather instead?
Yes, yes it does.
I should point out the kitchen roll in the second photo is actually supporting the cheeks while they dry in position. Glamorous, I know, but I ran out of ramekins.
Conclusion: leather maskmaking is FUN, and will be happening again shortly.