Paper Mache


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Learn the history behind masks and how to create an inexpensive mask base

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Paper Mache

  1. 1. Paper Mache Masks Lesson Plan by Noreen Strehlow AZ State Theatre Standards: 1AT-E2. PO 1. 1AT-E3. PO 2. 1AT-E4. PO 2. 1AT-E5. PO 1. PO 2. PO 3 1AT-E6. PO 4.
  2. 2. <ul><li>Masks have served many purposes throughout history and are one of the oldest art forms outside of cave painting. </li></ul><ul><li>to cure diseases or crop failures </li></ul><ul><li>to represent religious gods </li></ul><ul><li>to ward off evil spirits </li></ul><ul><li>to glorify someone who has died, such as a warrior or family member </li></ul><ul><li>to display emotions otherwise held within </li></ul><ul><li>to protect royalty from being recognized in times of war </li></ul><ul><li>to shroud the face of those with illness </li></ul><ul><li>for purposes of courting </li></ul><ul><li>to distinguish one tribe from another </li></ul><ul><li>to bring protection to one's family, friends and town </li></ul>Purpose of Masks
  3. 3. <ul><li>in the 5 th century BC, Greeks wore masks to show exaggerated emotions in stories like the Trojan Horse and Greek Myths </li></ul><ul><li>12th -13th century mystery plays used grotesque masks to show the public how bad sin was. The church stopped but masks continued to be used for Mardi Gras. </li></ul><ul><li>The profession of mask making was founded in Venice, Italy in 1436 by the Masters of the Painters Guild.  The artist presses paper mache’ into a mold, coats the mask with plaster then applies a second layer of paper mache’. </li></ul><ul><li>in the 16th century, masks were used in Commedia dell’Arte troupes to portray different characters in stories </li></ul>History of Masks
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  5. 5. <ul><li>Crush up paper to make a face sized shape. </li></ul><ul><li>Secure the shape with just enough masking tape so it won’t come apart. </li></ul>3. Take a plastic bag and wrap your taped up paper shape so that you have one smooth side which will be the top of your mask. Back can be messy. Front has to be smooth.
  6. 6. Another example of crushed up paper, covered with a smooth sheet of paper and taped in the back.
  7. 7. Another example of crushed up paper, covered with a plastic bag.
  8. 8. Use narrow short strips to overlap and create an edge for the mask. Make sure you overlap at least half the length of the strip. Overlap short narrow strips in order to divide the piece into four sections and then fill in with overlapped pieces of newspaper. Keep pieces about 1” square.
  9. 9. There is no need to make a big mess. Wipe excess paste into the container. Make sure to overlap pieces at least one half the size of the piece. That gives you a double layer right away.
  10. 10. Use an alternate type of paper such as paper toweling in order to count each layer. On all layers, overlap at least half the size of each piece. You now have about four layers on your mask.
  11. 11. Another heavily overlapped layer of newspapers equals about six layers. After the paper toweling, you go back to newspaper. Make sure to pay special attention to the edge of the mask.
  12. 12. End with the second layer of paper toweling because it’s easier to paint. You should now have a really strong mask to decorate.
  13. 13. Plastic mask bases are available if you have the budget for such things. They have raised features. A light coating of vaseline keeps the paper mache’ from sticking to the mask base.
  14. 14. Student Samples
  15. 15. More Student Samples
  16. 16. Have Fun decorating!