THE MASK – HISTORY AND MANUFACTURE

In Venice the mascareri (manufacturers of masks in papier-mache) have formed independently in COLLEGE OF PAINTERS joining with other arts ( painters, illuminators, manufacturers of leather . . .) in 1682.
In Venice, the mask assumed great importance becoming a symbol of homogenization between the various social classes, in fact, it was reasonable to disguise not only during Carnival, but also in other important occasions.
In Venice, the ancient art of mascareri was rediscovered in the late ’70s by some fans who have taken over and revived the ancient techniques of production of papier-mache masks.

The masks on display in this laboratory are handmade, without the aid of any machine, with the following techniques: 

There’s provided a clay model from which is obtainer a plaster cast that will serve as the basis for the production of the mask.

The plaster mold is created covering of liquid plaster sculpture and, once consolidated and dried, you can have the “negative” of the mask.

On the plaster cast is extended by hand, in successive layers, the paper-wool soaked with glue.

When the paper has dried, take the form of starting the clay model resulting in a crude papier-mache mask.
The repetition of this operation allow the production of more masks of the same model.

Extracted from the mold, the mask is smooth and starts the preparation of the fund, witch anticipates the creative phase of the final decoration that give life, thanks to tradition, creativity emotionally, to the game of colors and reliefs, gold and silver, of lace and fabrics, the multiplicity of works which can be seen in our laboratory.