Oval grey papier-mache mask with stylized insect-like appearance and stark shadowing.

Material: CelluClay.

I began this around 2010. I thought it would be cool to make a mask that looked like a bug, where the wearer’s eyes look through the bug’s eyes, and its wings would wrap around the wearer’s head.

I tried pretty hard to keep the wings from looking like Mickey Mouse ears in the front profile. There’s still a little bit of that, I think, but it’s not too bad. Overall I still like the sculpting.

This mask is not finished and cannot be worn. I ran into the same troubles I had with the Behemoth mask. By the time I was done sculpting (well, almost done—I stopped with about one percent of the sculpting left to do) I had put in a lot of time. So much, in fact, that I was sick of this project, but also really didn’t want to mess it up with a bad painting after having invested so much energy.

Right side of mask. A long wing covered in vertical ridges sweeps back from its face.

Top right side of mask. Right and left wings visible.

Also, this is heavy, but it’s not a helmet. It’s a face mask that needs to be strapped or tied to the wearer’s face. When I started I wasn’t thinking ahead to how I’d attach it. I just began and figured I’d come up with something when the time came.

I made another mask to test some ideas on, but after I finished that one, I didn’t come back to work on this.

Putting a lot of time into something and then letting it peter out doesn’t feel that great. This wasn’t the first time I did that or the last, but it is a large contributing factor in motivating me to finish masks once I start them. It also taught me the importance of thinking ahead across the entire project. It’s easy to focus a lot of energy on the overtly “artistic” part of the project, but the mechanical parts—such as straps, padding, or internal geometry—are just as important if anyone’s going to wear it. However much time it takes to make the “artistic” part of the mask, that’s only 30 to 50 percent of the project.