The "Crafty" Witch
With Samhain just around the corner I thought Id share with you some ideas for
masking. First of all this is done best in groups or at least with a partner.
- Begin by deciding what kind of mask you want to make. Do you want to hang it on a wall,
or wear it? Is it to be a butterfly, or an elephant, or a unicorn? If you plan to wear it,
then it should be a bit stronger, than if it is to hang on a wall.
- Assemble your materials: plaster tape* (cut into small strips), a bowl of cold water,
petroleum jelly, towel, and paper towels.
- Apply the petroleum jelly to the entire face so that you will be able to easily remove
the mask when it is done. Drape the towel around the persons neck/chest area. Give
them some paper towels to wipe away excess water. Then begin by dipping the plaster strips
into the cold water, removing the excess water, and applying them to the face area. Using
the fingertips, smooth the plaster strips, overlapping them together as you build the
mask. When the mask is finished it should be at least three layers thick with the strips.
You can cover the mouth, but the person will not be able to talk through the mask after it
is dry. Do not cover the eyes and use caution around the hair! Try to avoid getting the
plaster on your clothing, it does wash out, but is annoyingly difficult. After removing
the mask, just wash your face with hot water and soap!
- When the mask is finished, let is dry until you can easily remove it from the face.
Place it on some newspaper to dry thoroughly. When it is dry you can go over the mask
again smoothing it out and finishing edges with additional plaster strips. At this point
you can also add horns, beaks, ears, whatever. Using poster board, fashion the needed
shape and attach it to the mask using more of the wet plaster strips. Be generous with
them and create a strong attachment. After drying, it may be sanded smooth if desired. It
is now ready to decorate, paint, etc.
- Decorating is the really fun part of this project. There is no limit, only your
imagination! I have seen people use real snakeskin, fur (real and fake), paint, glitter,
and feather their way to some pretty spectacular masks that were quite suitable for
hanging over an altar afterwards. We have even made unicorns, hummingbirds and stag horns
from the poster board.
We use our masks to wear during the traditional Samhain ritual to disguise ourselves
from the spirits and bring in the energies of our totems. Usually as a part of our
workshop, prior to making the masks, we do a meditation to assist those who are unaware of
their totem. This is a great way to introduce and discuss the meaning of Samhain with your
children, by creating a masked costume with them.
Blessed Be, StarrWalker
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Last updated Friday, September 18, 1998 08:19 AM. Copyrighted Temple of The Triple Goddess, P.O. Box
38113, Phoenix, AZ 85069-8113. All rights reserved.