Umbra Hominis

Gunmetal blue cloth-mache mask with golden and copper highlights. Covers top half of face only. Edges cut to form triangular leaf-like patterns. A rhinestone is on the end of each leaf.

Primary materials: Cloth, glue, metal mesh, acrylic paint, metallic wax, rhinestones.

I made this mask specifically to be used at a Halloween Lindy-Hop dance. It needed to be light, have good visibility, breathability, and nothing that would hit my partner in the face.

It’s the thinnest and lightest cloth mask I have made. Most of it is only one layer of cloth thick. After getting the initial shape I wanted, I removed all the metal mesh, both to save a little weight and to avoid the issue of either having my face scratched up by mesh, or having to double the weight by covering the inside with cloth.

Being so thin and light means that this is flexible. It bends, rather than cracks. Some of the “leafs” on the crown are so thin that they will slowly bend by gravity if the mask is stored incorrectly. When thinness is taken to this extreme, it is simultaneously more durable and more fragile than a thicker mask, depending on the situation.

Front of mask. Golden tones predominate. A rhinestone is on the end of each triangular leaf.

Left side of mask. Lighting dramatically accentuates the tones of gunmetal blue, gold, copper, and silver.

I painted it black and then applied four colors of metallic wax. I added one rhinestone on the end of each leaf for added pizazz.

So how did it hold up?

It exceeded my expectations. I never had an issue with it slipping around, and nothing fell off or broke. I designed it for potentially only one use but it could easily have been used again.

2023 update: A couple of weeks after I made this, I put it in a box without proper padding. This caused the mask to slowly collapse. I still have it, but now it mainly serves as a lesson on the importance of correctly supporting masks that are in storage.