I picked this piece from September of 2010 (there aren't a lot of options when you've been off writing for the better part of three years!). Apparently according to blogger this is one of my most popular posts. Anyway, hope you all enjoy. I'll make the title link to the original.
Bird Goddess Mask Completed
So I tantalized you all with this picture over on flickr.
But now I finally have finished her. The second mask, the Bird Goddess Mask.
I'm really loving the organic flow of making these masks. I'm tapping into a spiritual part of myself to make these, and pulling from cultural and religious memes as I do it. For this project I was particularly inspired by a mask I had seen in the Tate Modern in London in 2005*. It was a piece made of two beautiful swan wings. They hooked onto a wire headdress, which you could wear, and they would open so you could invite someone over, and then close the wings around both of your heads, providing an intimate place for secrets to be discussed. It was in the surrealist section and I was greatly moved by it.
*(I just spent twenty minutes googling the piece and can't seem to find it)
It's also inspired by hands. Both sides of the mask were made initially with me tracing my hands onto the felt, and the underlying wire structure was also modelled on my hands.
So it's part bird, hands, mystical, ballroom. And of course I used dupioni silk again, which is a lovely material, really, if you're never used it, treat yourself to a yard. This one has black in it, so when you twist it it catches the light differently.
I'm not making a pattern or anything for these. They're happening as I pull and prod them into something. I know I will not duplicate them.
I had some gold thread left over from a class I taught, so I used it to make Masquerade Ball Mask style curliques with couching.
There is a third eye stitched in the middle of the forehead of the mask with chain stitch, which I also used to 'Kohl' the main mask eyes. If you look carefully at the image above, you will see that on each of the 'feathers/fingers' of the mask I added fuzzy red yarn to the edges of the couched gold thread, to further identify them as feathers.
Up next, the polar bear mask!
Oh, and yes, my hiatus from the internet is mostly over, and was mostly refreshing. I will be spending considerably less time online than I used to, and I think I will be the better for it. We'll see if I abandon my resolve when it gets cold again and I can't hang out on the porch with the dog.