Revisiting the Fox Mask

The fox mask was one of the most popular designs from my previous mask-making business (Goblin Art, 1999-2015), as well as being one of my personal favorites. And so it was one of the first mask designs I decided to revisit with my recycled coffee sack burlap and natural polymer starch (bioplastic) mask-making technique.

I call the burlap version the "Rustic Fox". I stitched details with jute cord and painted it with locally collected earth pigments and campfire charcoal. The paint medium I used was methyl cellulose, a biodegradable material derived from wood cellulose.

This mask was shaped over a plaster copy of my original water-based clay fox mask sculpt. But it is possible to form a burlap or paper mache mask like this over a water-based clay mask sculpture, using a release layer of tissue paper, recycled aluminum foil or a sheet of thin plastic. (I'll be documenting this process in a forthcoming tutorial).

Plaster fox mask form I made for my old mask-making business

Coffee sack burlap moistened with bioplastic starch mixture, stretched over plaster form

When dry, the burlap mask is peeled from the form and eye holes are trimmed out.

Here is an inside view of the mask, showing how I stitched recycled copper wire around the edges of the mask for reinforcement.

Partway through adding stitched details with jute cord.

Stitched details finished, now adding color with natural pigments I collected.

The biodegradable pigment binder I used was Methyl cellulose, most commonly used for book-binding, but also sold as Elmer's Art Paste.

The finished mask!

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