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Mask Making Made Manageable: Making masks is fun, versatile, educational, easy

Although plaster bandage is a good material to use when molding a mask so is papier-mâché and clay. Each material will bring a special quality to the process; however; this article will be about plaster bandage mask molding because the material dries quickly. An entire lesson can be completed within one hour.


  1. plastic mask mold
  2. plastic bowl for water
  3. plaster bandages
  4. scissors
  5. protective plastic sheet
  6. paints
  7. brushes
  8. other materials such as glitter, foil paper, cloth (whatever takes your fancy)
  9. paper
  10. oil pastels
  11. felt tipped pens


  1. lay the protective sheet out on the working surface
  2. arrange the materials to be used
  3. dampen the strips of plaster and criss cross over the mask
  4. pat them down
  5. layer three layers for strength
  6. be sure to compress into grooves so that the shape of the mold is picked up
  7. place aside to dry
  8. while drying – draw a mask design with oil pastels on a sheet that will hold the approximate shape
  9. when the design is nutted out, give an under coat of paint to the mask in the most predominant colour; this will serve as a background
  10. embellish the drawing with patterns and detail while you wait for that coat to dry
  11. once dry – paint the design onto this background
  12. adhere any collage to the mask you like

Appreciative Inquiry

Ask the students

  1. how the mask evolved
  2. which parts of the exercise were hard and what worked well for them
  3. to comment in a positive way about each others work
  4. whether this exercise has caused them to want to conduct a personal inquiry into meaning or an exploration into an artistic area
  5. talk about the history of mask making

Educational Outcomes.

Artistic explorations can inquire into areas that are many and varied.

  1. Historical. Mask making evolution
  2. Cultural Kinds of masks predominate in which cultures and why?
  3. Emotional Why do people wear masks? What are masks for?
  4. Technical Materials can be explored with regard to their scientific properties
  5. Aesthetic Are masks only made to wear?


  • sculptural skills and sensitivities
  • drawing practice
  • understanding of colour and its meaning
  • appraisal : speaking and listening