African masks made with plastered strips

These masks are all made with the same technique.

First step : make a  mould  with clay  or  with salt dough. Make a background out of  newspaper or out of aluminium , give it the desired shape and spread  salt dough or clay on it and let dry .It is necessary  to wrap the mould well in a transparent film. (see model opposite)

Second step: put wet plastered strips into the mould (see  below a roll of plastered strips) by adjusting them to the shape of the mask. Let dry ( preferably on a heating). Unmould . You have a solid and light, white mask.
(see picture below ).

Third step : Decorate the mask .Paint it with acrylic paint or  coat  it with colored repair paste for  wood  and  inlay  small objects (pearls…).

repair paste for  wood

Take repair  paste for wood and colour it  with ink, and  spread it on the undecorated mask  (this colored paste can be kept several days in an hermetic box). Before the paste dries, inlay seeds, shells and elements of all kinds. It is useful to explain to the Children  the concept of symmetry before making the masks if  you prefer symmetrical decorations. Teach also  the Children where to place seeds in order to emphasize the various elements of the face: eyebrows, edge of the nose, stops…

 Drawings masks before making them  can also  improve the results.

colored repair paste  for wood 

click below to see the masks enlarged

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