Oval ceramic mask. It's green with hints of yellow and brown. Ridges go up its forehead to make spikes. It is covered in stylized scale patterns.

Materials: Water-based clay, glaze.

This is the first and only mask I’ve made out of clay. I didn’t throw it on a wheel but built it on top of an oval paper food container. That’s why it has this general shape.

Though it’s possible to make wearable ceramic masks, I knew my first attempt was going to be a little thick, and the paper bowl isn’t anywhere near a wearable size, so this was always intended to be a wall piece.

Right angle view. The ridge running down the cheek and the overall scale patterns are clearly visible.

It’s glazed with a combination of green, yellow, blue, and brown. I wanted to avoid reds because I thought that would be too much the obvious choice for something shaped like this.

When glaze is painted on, it looks dry and faint—quite different from the finished product.

Front of mask after glazing but before firing. Its colors are very faint and pale.
I took this picture right after painting on the glaze in the studio. Firing sure makes a difference. Though I have to say, seeing the pale colors on a dark background like this is somewhat striking.

I’d like to thank Julia for guiding me through this process. She provided materials, studio space, instruction, enjoyable conversation, and fired the mask. If it wasn’t for her initial invitation to come do some clay I wouldn’t have started this one, and if it wasn’t for her help along the way it wouldn’t have gotten finished.

Thanks Julia!