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The Root Maze by merimask The Root Maze by merimask
This is a mask I created recently, "The Root Maze". I entered it in the "Your Secret Garden" contest [link] ...the first DA contest I've ever entered! Wish me luck!.

It fits the theme, I think, because this mask is supposed to be a sheltering place for living and growing things. Rather than a sinister place, I think it's a safe place and it's also a safe mask to wear; the roots encircle your face...you can hide behind the sheltering branches like a shy girl hides behind her bangs. I scattered benevolent forest critters in there; ladybugs and butterflies and even a salamander (I think he clings in the most adorable way!). It's a quiet, still place too...quiet enough for ivy to grow undisturbed.

I love doing nature-themed art and this feels like the most "natural" of all my masks...an homage to a forest sanctuary.

Like all my art, this mask is created entirely from leather. I never use any molds or stamps or forms; it's carved and shaped by hand. I used a variety of acrylic paints and sealers...in fact the method I used to create this mask is completely documented in these tutorials:
Part one... [link]
Part two... [link]

This was an ambitious but fun project which resulted in a one-of-a-kind piece of wearable art...I hope you like it. ^_^

As always, if you like my work please visit my Etsy shop: [link]
Add a Comment:
 
:icondragona742:
dragona742 Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Looks amazing! I saw and read the turtorial of it, and it seems so hard to do! Though, you do it great. I really love the fact that you made some loose things, and put them on later. And those leaves are looking great too! Btw, isn't it hard to do all those straight lines on the mask itself? Looks quite nice! All together, one of your greatest masks!
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:iconfadingfoxglove:
FadingFoxglove Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2009
This is so cool! I've never seen a design like this.
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks!

In my DA journal section, if you check back a few entries, you'll find one called "How to build a mask", which documents how I made this mask at every step. You might find it interesting.
Reply
:iconfadingfoxglove:
FadingFoxglove Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2009
Thanks for mentioning that. It was really interesting. :) I've never heard anything about how to make leather masks, so that was all new to me. You're very talented!

And the details you added in the story (like painting D&D models, walking your adorable dog, and the "extra-cute" salamander made it even more fun to read. So much work into a mask... But it really is breathtaking.
Reply
:iconhodgepodge200:
hodgepodge200 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2009
wow I think this is one of my favorites
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks. :-)
Reply
:iconanimegirlfroggy:
animegirlfroggy Featured By Owner May 3, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
This piece is so exqisite, it looks like it's carved out of wood. Absoloutely beautiful. I wish you so much luck in this contest.
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner May 4, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much! :-)
Reply
:iconfullmoonfairy:
FullMoonFairy Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Professional Photographer
cool piece...:clap:
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you. :-)

If you check out the journal link on my DA page, you'll see a tutorial showing how I built it.
Reply
:iconellygator:
Ellygator Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I remember reading your "How To" on this mask. Beautiful piece!
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you...it was a lot of work. :-)
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:icontallydragon:
tallydragon Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2009   Artisan Crafter
That is friggin' incredible. It's so dynamic it looks alive. I could totally see it being some sort of forest god. And thank you so much for the tutorials! It was awesome to get to see it in progress step-by-step. :)
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks! & I'm glad you liked the tutorials. They took a while to write but I think there were so many curious people that they were a worthwhile endeavor.
Reply
:iconmymeke:
Mymeke Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
wow, amazing :D
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you. :-)
Reply
:iconmymeke:
Mymeke Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
you're welcome
Reply
:iconchaos2112:
Chaos2112 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2009
Oh, that's a lovely piece. Really love the salamander. ^_^

This is one of those masks I wish I could see on a person, but then I'd wind up designing the rest of the costume to go with it.
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you! :-)

Actually it's going to be part of a really elaborate costume...the person who bought it has big plans.
Reply
:iconoraien:
Oraien Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Added this one to my favorites. It's beautiful and I loved the step by step explanation you did for your tutorial!
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much. :-) It was a labor of love (both to make the mask & to document it in the tutorial!)
Reply
:iconskyetrinity:
SkyeTrinity Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2009  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This is really amazing. I love all the different critters you included. Good luck in the contest. :glomp:
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you very much. :-) Keep your fingers crossed for me!
Reply
:iconthegreatgonzo26:
TheGreatGonzo26 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Good luck! It looks really really good! I especially like the little lady bugs. I think they're a cute addition.
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks! I've been making those lady bugs for years now (I sell little leaf pins with those lady bugs on em sometimes aty my Etsy shop)...they seemed the perfect addition for that mask.
Reply
:iconthegreatgonzo26:
TheGreatGonzo26 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
ooo they're so cute! :heart: They do make a perfect addition to the mask.
Reply
:icondragons-heart:
Dragons-Heart Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Student General Artist
the salamander is very cute!
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks, I think so too! It clings in the cutest way. :-)
Reply
:iconnightsneverland:
nightsneverland Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009
I adore the concept of this one!!

Good luck with the contest! I'd love to see it in a night theme with spideys and fireflies and such :-)
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you! I hope it does well...artisan media tends to get overlooked sometimes (knows from years in the art world).
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:iconmissy-moo-moo:
Missy-Moo-Moo Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009
very nice. i really like this one. :)
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you...it was a departure for me.
Reply
:icondanaphantom:
DanaPhantom Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I've been waiting to see you post this one up since I read about it in your tutorial! It's so lovely.
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks! I guess I was saving it for a special occasion! ;-)
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:iconfantasyforever:
fantasyforever Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Professional General Artist
I was wondering when you'd put that lovely mask up on your DA~ :heart:

And the salamander is so CUTE!! X3 I adore little salamanders~
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you!

I think that salamander is the best part...I totally added it on a whim. :-)
Reply
:icongavade:
GAVade Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009   Digital Artist
Wow, these are getting more and more complex, love the detail on this....
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you. :-) It's really busy...I'm afraid it didn't photograph very well...
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:icontreyos:
Treyos Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Been waiting for you to submit this one here! Absolutly love it!

How could you not win the contest with an entry like that?
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you!

Oh it'd be really NICE to win a contest, I think. :-) I'm looking for features here...trying to spread the circulation of my site.
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:iconkagen-no-tsuki:
kagen-no-tsuki Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009
Good luck with that competition. It's such a lovely mask and with so many beautiful details that I'm sure it will do well.
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Well thank you. :-)

I'm in an odd category (artisan) so there aren't too many contests I can enter. Had to look all over to find one I'd qualify for.
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:iconkagen-no-tsuki:
kagen-no-tsuki Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2009
Ah, that's true. It's such a shame about that, because I think there are some absolutely fantastic artists in that category, such as yourself. The effort and creativity that is put into the other categories of art, are also very much present in the artisan category.
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:iconsavagedryad:
savagedryad Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Professional General Artist
Very lovely! Your tutorial has inspired me and your like a long lost soul sister! :hug: good luck on the contest!
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Aww...thank you! That's so sweet. :-) Glad you liked my tutorial.
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:iconsavagedryad:
savagedryad Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Professional General Artist
It was VERY helpful! I plan on doing some more masks soon too. :)
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:iconempatheia:
Empatheia Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009
Good god, Meri, that's amazing. You top yourself every time you make something new, I swear, I don't know how you do it.
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Hee! Thank you so much dear. :-) I guess I have to admit I'm compelled to make these things...I couldn't stop if I tried.
Reply
:iconchianne:
Chianne Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I loved seeing how you made this one in your tutorials. Out of your masks I think this one is my new favourite.
I didn't notice the lady birds before, how adorable!
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you! I'm sorry the photo isn't that great; it was such a dimensional mask & the camera flattens out images & ruins the 3-d quality that this mask had strongly.
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Details

Submitted on
February 22, 2009
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