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Learn how to make ancient ceremonial roman masks, using foil and burlap. This part shows you what you need to get started.
Tags:How to Make a Roman Janus Mask Part 1 ,ancient art,art projects,crafts,How to Make a Mask,janus masks,jumbobaystudios,roman art,roman gods,roman masks,roman mythology
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How to Make a Roman Janus Mask Part 1
We’re going to be making a mask. Actually this mask comes from the Romans and it really has to do with the month of January and they’re called Janus Masks. And what they were created for was to welcome in the New Year and say goodbye to the old year. As you can see, I’ve already made one side of the mask and we’ve used burlap and this tooling foil that you can actually buy in a craft store. And what we’re going to do here so you can see how you work with these materials is create the other side. That’s going to be glued onto the back of this mask so that we actually have the double-sided mask.
What I’m going to do is just to make certain that I’m going to keep this about the same size. I’m just going to do a quick little sketch here so that I know the size of my mask so it’s going to cover the cardboard on the other side. So I’ve got a pretty good idea here. And what I’m going to do is I’m going to sketch like one-half of this mask. And I think what I’ll do is fold the piece of paper in half so that the mask is going to be relatively symmetrical.
So I’m just going to go ahead and kind of do a shape here for this mask and if I fold in half just like this and cut this, then I will have a template so that I can quickly trace around it onto my tooling foil. And here, we’ve got a mask that’s relatively symmetrical. Now, I’m going to have to do a little bit of planning of my ideas on why don’t we make kind of a happy mask that’s going to welcome in the New Year.
So I’m probably going to want to do something that has like a big smile on it because everyone usually gets pretty happy right before the New Year. You’re also going to need some burlap, any colors. In the art stores, you can usually buy single sheets of burlap and that’s going to serve as the fringe or the hair that’s going to surround the mask. And it’s literally going to be sandwich between the two pieces of tooling foil. You can actually use more than two colors if you want. When you do the burlap, you actually unravel the weaving part of it. You’re actually going to be pulling out the individual fiber threads so that you get this fringe.
Back to our happy mask; usually when you smile, you’re eyes turn up so let’s do some eyes that are going to turn up on the edges and I’ll put some lips here because what we’re going to do is the tooling foil actually allows you to make this images to have things pop out if you draw on the back side. Areas are going to pop out if you draw on the front side they’re going to be embossed. So this is a really fun material to work with. What you’re going to need is just some padding underneath the tooling foil.
Yesterday’s newspaper work or right here I just have a stack of news print paper. And what I want to do is just trace around my little template. And if you just draw on here it indents the foil enough that you’ve got an outline and then you can go ahead and cut it out. And it cuts very easily with the pair of scissors. This tooling foil actually comes in different thickness. It also comes in different colors. You can get it in silver, copper finish, red and green and orange and I think it even comes in blue.
So you’re not limited to just your silver and you can see how easily it cuts. One thing I need to warn you about though, it’s really sharp so kind of keep your hands out of the way of the sharp corners that you’re going to end up cutting.
I’m going to go ahead and I want to get my eyes, nose and mouth on here. So we’re just going to draw over and I’m going to add some eyebrows. And when we take this off, you’ve got enough of it indented that you can actually see what you’re doing. Now, my suggestion is that you go back over all your lines just one by one or you can work on one area.
What you have to decide after start making some decisions. For instance, the center of this eye, do you want this to pop out or do you want it to be indented or you do you want it to have like a little starry like lines that make it look like the colored part of your eye, the iris. So you really do have some decisions to make, some artistic choices. So I think I’m just going to make this whole area pop out. So very gently, I’m just going to start coloring in that area so that I’m starting to make this foil actually indent and if you think about working upside down, you’re actually pushing the foil down so that when you lift up the mask, it’s going to pop out. So I’ll show you what I mean. You’re just coloring in here, just like you would if you had a pencil and you were coloring in an area.
And if you want it nice and smooth, there’s this other side. Right now, I have some lines on here but I can smooth some of those out with the rounded end of this tool. And the more you press, the deeper you go into this paper padding, the more these eyes is going to stick out, like that. Now, to make it really look like it’s coming out, if I just turn it over and outline right next to it, that pushes some of the foil down a little bit further and makes it look like its popping even more. So there you’ve got your first popped out eye.
Now, I think what I’ll do is put some thin lines and create a texture here on the front side. You just want to think about varying things. You’ve got a lot of space to cover. So you have to take it slowly, think about your choices and work on the eyes first then move to the nose and then you may want to do them out next. And then I would think about possibly some kind of border design on the edge of the mask. It’s a good place to go next. And then you could maybe make the cheeks pop out or make them go in.