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About Varied / Hobbyist Aimee EtierFemale/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 12 Years
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Woad Wolf by cwicseolfor Woad Wolf :iconcwicseolfor:cwicseolfor 1 1 Red Death by cwicseolfor Red Death :iconcwicseolfor:cwicseolfor 3 2 Miniatures - Rosetta by cwicseolfor Miniatures - Rosetta :iconcwicseolfor:cwicseolfor 4 4 Rosetta Riccia by cwicseolfor Rosetta Riccia :iconcwicseolfor:cwicseolfor 12 28 Bacchante by cwicseolfor Bacchante :iconcwicseolfor:cwicseolfor 10 8 Bacchante WIP by cwicseolfor Bacchante WIP :iconcwicseolfor:cwicseolfor 21 44 Miniature - Rosetta Occhi by cwicseolfor Miniature - Rosetta Occhi :iconcwicseolfor:cwicseolfor 6 4 Foglia Mask by cwicseolfor Foglia Mask :iconcwicseolfor:cwicseolfor 30 16 Rosetta Mask by cwicseolfor Rosetta Mask :iconcwicseolfor:cwicseolfor 154 41 Fox Mask by cwicseolfor Fox Mask :iconcwicseolfor:cwicseolfor 15 32 Bauta Mask by cwicseolfor Bauta Mask :iconcwicseolfor:cwicseolfor 11 17 Bamberg Twins by cwicseolfor Bamberg Twins :iconcwicseolfor:cwicseolfor 23 23 Puck Mask by cwicseolfor Puck Mask :iconcwicseolfor:cwicseolfor 15 13 Dragon Masquerade Couple by cwicseolfor Dragon Masquerade Couple :iconcwicseolfor:cwicseolfor 16 27 Lady Dragon Mask by cwicseolfor Lady Dragon Mask :iconcwicseolfor:cwicseolfor 30 6 Jester Mask by cwicseolfor Jester Mask :iconcwicseolfor:cwicseolfor 33 28

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deviantID

cwicseolfor
Aimee Etier
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United States
I was, and am, and will be again, an artist, working in leather and paper and pixels. My life became a little too hectic for me to keep up from my maskmaking binge 2005-2008 - I've been intermittently in hiding from 2009-2014 as I deal with the ramifications of the economic recession on both the clientele of my studio business and my own personal situation as a post-student with loans to pay - but there are slow signs of picking back up the artwork as a personal endeavour, and resuming the studio for commissions at a later date.

I am often unresponsive on deviantArt, but I'm still out there and I'm still dreaming.
Interests
News:
Life's in a transition space and I've been in a touch of a slump, between not being able to work when I'd like to (such as now) and not feeling up to working when I can (the last couple of months.)

But things are on the upswing, I believe; I've been not formally studying for the longest period in the last seventeen years of my life (doesn't that seem like it should be remarkable, even though it's not?) and my brain's begun actively striving for material again. I'm going to have an entire, lovely page of beautiful essays I've read in the last few months to post at my website before long - and I'm looking forward to updating that too.

Halloween, as it always does, gave me a wicked craving for more maskwork. My boyfriend's costume required I dig out the biggest tragedy that can exist in a couple feet square box of lonely masks and brush off a few for his choosing, and it did some very nasty things to my throat to think that they'd been sitting abandoned all that time.

So I'll be constructing a makeshift mask rack over the next couple of days, if for nothing but my own psychological and artistic benefit. I may have to tear it down shortly after, but sometimes the short-lived beauties in life are best.

My great planned new year's resolution is this: that once I have a measure of stability in my life, I myself will strive to be more stable for others around me. One of my greater failings in the last couple of years, between international traveling and changes of major and graduation - is that I get wildly interested in whatever other people are talking about and then stall out of the conversation after some intervention of real life. The fact that so many immensely talented, entirely brilliant people have accepted me in their little circles on the internet has been one of the highest honors I've ever received - so I'll try not to be so intermittent when there's still a conversation running. For those I've gone and left hanging, I'm coming back!

Soon to come:
- new leather-knives in the mail - O highest joy of joys, I've been cutting everything with the same two blades since I got started with this leather business. I believe in wearing one's clothes, car, tools into the ground, but it has been entirely Too. Long.
- the maskmaker gets a day job! (Maybe even one she likes!!!)
- a place to hang my masks, something I've dreamt of for years now
(And hopefully, some further inspiration maskwise, rather than the Sabriel-Abhorsen cosplay I've wanted to do forever...)

About the Masks:
Generally speaking, the masks are painted formed leather, usually in a single layer. They're hand-sculpted with no mold, and occasionally surface carving or tooling is employed. They are lined in suede and unvarnished on the inner face to preserve the natural breathing quality of the leather for comfort. The outer face is painted and water-resistant. By virtue of the quality of materials, they tend to be reasonably durable, gently flexible, and very lightweight.

Commission Information:
If you like any of the masks in my gallery or would like a custom mask, please feel free to ask. All sales are by commission - very rarely do I have extra masks laying around for sale, because if they aren't created with an owner in mind I tend to get too attached, and because I have precious little spare time. (The good news is it means more versatility in what you can request.) My availability for commission varies tremendously because I have a full-time life entirely outside of artwork - 80% of the year I am cramming any art I do into a 27-hour-a-day schedule. However, I am open for inquiry at any time. If you are a dA member, you can write me a note; otherwise, you can contact me through my website, whatever you feel comfortable with.

Clubs to Look Into
:iconleatherartisans: :iconmask-making-artisans:
LeatherArtisans - Gorgeous leatherwork by talented craftspeople, a club with a warm and open community.
Mask-Making-Artisans - A maskmaker's community showcasing a number of artists and some very diverse styles.
  • Listening to: Green Linnet 20th Anniversary Collection
  • Reading: A Needle in the Right Hand of God - R. Howard
  • Watching: The Hero of Time Zelda fanfilm LA special trailer
  • Playing: Phantom Hourglass!!! (Well, mostly flipnote.)
  • Eating: Persephone's garnets - one perfect pomegranate
  • Drinking: Water, water, water...

Activity


Comments


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:iconpika-la-cynique:
Pika-la-Cynique Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2014  Professional General Artist
I'll be tickled pink if you are around here again. Best.
Reply
:iconcwicseolfor:
cwicseolfor Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I talk about you far more than to you. All good things and praise, of course, as The People Have a Right to Know, but it's still a pity. I'm sorely behind on your life and art although catchup on said was one of the things I've most looked forward to in getting everything else under control. All well and flourishing there, I hope?
(I turned stockbroker, too, so I can't even sell my work anymore without advance notice and approval, but that's the price of a paycheck nowadays. Before in sales it was just noncompete agreements....)
Reply
:icontatjna:
tatjna Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014
Thank you for the faves.  Also, your masks are beautiful.  ;-)
Reply
:iconlampades:
Lampades Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012
Lovely work.
Reply
:iconhobowars:
hobowars Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011
excuse me madam, but i have seens your masks and i must say they look well made, if it isn't too much trouble you'd please tell me how to make a simple columbina mask? i would appreciate if you would also list out the materials
Reply
:iconrexluna:
Rexluna Featured By Owner May 3, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks for the fave! :P
Reply
:iconsauch:
sauch Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2009
I figured we should take this off Pika's comments.

I actually am Taiwanese, born and...well, partly bred.... DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNN.

Well, if you look at Asian myths, there are less examples of mystical creatures stealing children. There are virtually no goblins, so I'm inclined to view them as a purely Western concept, originating largely in Northern Europe. However, there is a large tradition of half-animal, half-human creatures that eat children. Much of this might a result of the geographical differences in Asia and Northern Europe as well as cultural differences. Being more acquainted with China and Chinese legends, I'm basing most of these hypotheses on China, of course. Also we have to take into consideration that China has warmer climates and milder winters, with its population more heavily concentrated in the southern half. It's harder to imagine Winter as its own minor deity, even though elemental forces such as Thunder and Lightning have concrete forms.

It also bears nothing that Chinese myth/belief is a hodge podge of local beliefs, ancestor worship, deification of spirits, and Buddhism. Also a point of interest is the lack of magic in Chinese superstition. Actually, this is a gross overstatement. But have you noticed that Asian conceptions of magic is inherently different from Western magic? It's much more... spiritual and tied in with the flow of energy than an ability to twist reality.

Also I want to point out that the Snow Queen is a Hans Christian Andersen story. I love how his stories have been accepted as fairy tales on the same level as the Brothers Grimm's, but they're really not the same thing at all. The Brothers Grimm went around collecting folk tales, many of which had magical elements. Hans Christian Andersen made up his own stories, even though he borrowed heavily from local folk legends.

As for the parallelism between the Snow Queen and Jareth, well, it's purely subjective, I think. The beauty of fairy tales is the ability of the reader to project their own understanding and identity onto them. At first, I saw the similarity between their roles -- a stolen child, hidden in a faraway castle, and the heroine must travel through dangers unknown and hardship unnumbered to reach the castle. So I should say that I saw the similarities between Gerda and Sarah first. Then the stories began to merge together. The Snow Queen and Jareth would be two rather unwilling villains, acting not so much out of malice than ammorality (not to be confused with immorality) and their very natures. It is the Snow Queen's nature to be cold and unfeeling, and the Goblin King's obligation to steal children, any child. At the end of the story, Kai is able to leave when he manages to spell out the right word in the ice puzzle, and Sarah defeats Jareth with her right words.

Okay, I'm going to stop here, because I'm becoming increasingly incoherent, I think.

PS. I love your masks!
Reply
:iconapplecocacola:
applecocacola Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2009
I forgot to mention, Jareth is completely a vampire sort of creature, in that he can only come when he's invited or summoned. The way that Sarah defeats him by declaring her autonomy magnifies this perspective.
Reply
:iconapplecocacola:
applecocacola Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2009
Thanks for redirecting me back to this thread. It'd completely slipped my mind.

As for your knowledge of East Asian folklore, I am completely blown away. I haven't read any local folklore since I was child, so my own knowledge is a little shoddy. I will however agree with you about the matriarchal threat to little girls, particularly the story of the tigress-aunt. The fact that the story of Little Red Riding Hood may have originated in Asia is particularly interesting, considering how the wolf is actually also interpreted as a metaphor for Jews. Some theories also postulate that Little Red Riding Hood might be a prostitute, focusing on the prominence of her red cape.

I suppose in my original argument, I meant to point that children are rarely stolen in East Asian myths. They are eaten, but rarely stolen. The changelings, as you point out, work in reverse -- the acceptance of supernatural creatures into the household that bring good fortune -- which often preach that curiosity leads to the protagonists' downfalls.

As for the goblins in East Asian mythology, I'm still arguing that Asian 惡魔 and 妖怪 are more akin to demons than goblins. Of course, as you pointed out, this might depend on our personal definition of goblins. Goblin is actually a derivative of the word kobold, and traces its origins to the concept of mischievous sprites, whose actions may or may not be helpful or harmful. They might even be malicious, although I've often interpreted that to be in the manner that children are malicious -- without consideration. However, as in my experience, the Chinese 魔鬼 is vindictive by nature, existing to eat and pillage and wreck destruction. Naturally, the details of their nature may be influenced by environment, whether they live in woods or in rocky caverns.

I also still maintain the difference in Eastern and Western magic, differences that also may be shaped by history and culture and perceptions of the world. Even if the Eastern explanation of magic can be found in Western magic, Western magic is still more visible than Eastern magic. Eastern magic functions more as the acceleration of natural forces, although there are instances of conjuring money and magical items that defy the rules of nature, such as the money tree, which grows money as its leaves. But in these instances, the magic is not so much wielded as harvested. Whereas Western magic has the ability to defy nature and its laws. Even the creation of an illusion defies physics and suggests tampering with a third person's perception.

You point out something very true about the Brothers Grimms. But despite all their fabrications to fill up the blank spaces, the basis of their stories were founded in existing folklore.

I'm not sure sure I see Baba Yaga in the make-up of Sarah's character.
Reply
:iconcwicseolfor:
cwicseolfor Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Though I saved the original reply I was working on, life suddenly got complicated with moving 300 miles and frantic job applications and that sort of thing, so my sincerest apologies for dropping entirely out like that. I'll rewrite and (believe it or not) condense it here. And thanks for moving the discussion to my page, I tend to get carried away….

Thanks very much as regards the masks, I was glad then and now to hear you enjoyed them. ^-^

I think the geographic determinism angle has a lot of relevance in the particulars of myth - the entities and locations that figure - but I think the storylines often are fairly universal. Where a wolf in France is an ogress in Russia and a tigress-aunt in China, they all threaten a little girl from a position of matriarchal power. (Most scholarly works I've read on Little Red Riding Hood seem to agree that her story originated in China. I honestly think it's more likely that the themes of most of our stories are truly universal - memes diffuse across civilizations, but we've probably been telling the same sorts of stories since we developed language.) As another example of this, Japan's climate is more similar to Europe's than China's is, and while Japanese myths feature the same notions of the laws of existence as Chinese myths do, because they adopted their cosmology from the mainland, many of the particular creatures are more analogous to European ones. Kitsune in particular act rather a lot like British fairies.

I'd say certain man-made objects, where they occur, are the exception to the rule that 'details' are less universal than themes - artifacts like swords, mirrors, masks etc. have a magical, miraculous quality in myth that corresponds to the immense power they hold to alter the experienced world when they are invented. They crop up an awful lot in myth and magical stories, probably because the ability to see the world doubled, or to hide or change one's basic individual characteristics, or what-have-you, is just as shocking and amazing to one culture as to another. Spilling grain as a way to distract the dead, or crossing running water to escape them - these things will have to do with whether your culture has been agricultural for a long time, or has built heavily atop rivers. Killing a man or beast you feel to be threatening with a single stroke of a magic stick - that is, a blade - is pretty universal. Containers - sacks, boxes, bowls, whatever - come up a lot, too.

A note on Andersen, Grimm and authenticity - it seemed to me that Andersen was writing the equivalent of "modern" fantasy. His tales have a fairy-tale formula but they're contemporary in their flavor. The funny thing is that the brothers Grimm weren't doing things all so differently - they fabricated a lot of details and tried to create cohesive stories out of various conflicting versions; their scholarship was admirable in its aims, but in execution was the sort of thing that earns disgrace in the modern community. Of course, it was its own step in the evolution of the stories - it just wasn't factual historical documentation.

As for whether there are goblins in China - well, I'd say it depends on your definition. 魔鬼 is often translated "goblin"; all a goblin really needs to be is a nonhuman creature with a dangerous or mischievous nature. Since changeling stories are as likely to feature beautiful fairies as ugly trolls, their function in Labyrinth isn't specific to what they are; the notion of a goblin probably applies to some beast or other in a number of cultures. In Chinese Buddhist myth I know of a few things that might be translated "goblin" as well as "demon" or "devil."

As for changeling stories in Asia, well, I'd say it often works in the reverse - unnatural children, or supernatural lovers, are taken into human families. Often the children/ lovers (usu. wives) manifest supernatural powers which they use to the benefit of their families, but investigation into their gifts exposes them and they must return to their own people or rightful place. The Moon/ Bamboo Princess, Crane Wife of Japan, myriad fox spirits throughout East Asia, and White Snake in China all exemplify this type. (Oftentimes there is concern, when the wife is exposed, that she will steal their children away when she leaves, which also parallels the changeling.) In the West, the story follows the same pattern but the supernatural lover is more often a male - as in Greece's Eros & Psyche, which became the model for Beauty & the Beast.

I think the East Asian concept of magic as an uncommon use of natural life force dovetails reasonably well into the European take. Frequently European magic doesn't so much twist reality as just redirect energy or human perceptions - as if energy and matter were finite. Vampirism is a great example because there's some spin on it just about anywhere, and you are dealing with life force, after all. Witches get their strange power from the strange objects they employ. Fairies practically never create from nothing, they spin glamours over extant things, a pumpkin to a coach, straw to gold. This tendency to create glamours and illusions shows up in human-impersonation stories like White Snake and various fox myths a lot.

I'd say your initial impression of Labyrinth's similarity to the Snow Queen story was dead on - the dynamic of brother and sister against some supernatural foe with dangerous intentions. (I'm also delighted that you specifically distinguished amorality and immorality. I feel like I have to do that all the time because people always confound them.) This dynamic crops up in Hansel & Gretel, too. Labyrinth, being a good eighty minutes longer than the average fairy tale as we receive them, is made up of a patchwork of countless other stories. Considering Jareth, you could draw parallels between Labyrinth and all sorts of stories featuring a supernatural dangerous entity - the Elf-king and myriad other fairy beings, vampires, death personifications. Looking at Sarah, we're inclined to see Gretel, Gerda, Little Red Riding Hood, Vasilissa (Baba Yaga), Alice (of Wonderland), Dorothy (of Oz) - and yes, even Persephone - a rescuer who shall in turn become the prey, and even the seduced, like Belle gone to save her father from his mistake. (Notice the girls always rescue a male?) Labyrinth incorporates both the changeling-child and snatched-away-youth under the eyes of its King of the Underground, so on to Toby - from his angle, there again is the Elf-king's prey, Hansel, Kai - and also a certain measure of a new sort of story, where a very little boy goes away to play with magic for a while and then comes home, without a whole lot of message except "the world is there to be seen." This is cropping up more and more often in modern fantasy for children - think Where the Wild Things Are. I think that it actually will have some importance in time, but since I haven't figured much out about that yet, I'll have to leave off.

Many thanks for all the ideas and sorry again for my belated reply!
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