Prehistoric Goldilocks

Left front of shiny blue and gold mask, made with plaster bandages. It has three horns coming out the top of its head and two out the side.

Primary materials: Aluminum foil, tape, plaster bandages, acrylic paint.

I began this around Christmas of 2015. I hadn’t worked on a mask or completed three-dimensional art in a while, and the big masks I had made in the past were still unfinished. The main rule for this was to make a finished wearable piece. Also to just have fun and not get too caught up in the details.

I made the shape out of aluminum foil and masking tape, then covered it in plaster of Paris bandage strips. This is the first and only time I’ve used this material. In the moment I thought it was a great innovation for making masks. It was a step forward, but is made obsolete in just about every way by using cloth dipped in glue, which I did a lot in later projects. Plaster is heavy and brittle.

I thought about painting this red, but dismissed the idea as too much of the obvious choice, given the horns and possibly sinister appearance. So I went with blue instead, lightly brushed it with some silver paint to give it a sheen, and then added iridescent bronze.

Right side of mask. Golden ridges sweep around from its eyes and merge into its horns. It has a swept-back half-circle shape.

This mask has an unusual shape for a project of mine. It isn’t a face-only mask that could be strapped to the wearer’s head; but it isn’t a helmet either. To make it wearable I glued in a Velcro harness and pieces of foam padding. This is the first mask I made with these materials in it—a big innovation!

I glued together strips of cloth to put in the back of the mask to cover the harness. This element is held on with Velcro. I painted some gold patterns onto the cloth so it would  match the rest of the mask.

When I look at this, its roughness and asymmetry has an ancient, bony sea-creature style that I quite like. I also like how the horns and some of the other elements create recursive patterns of curved shapes.