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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 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 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 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]
Image details
Image size
2452x2452px 922.3 KB
Shutter Speed
10/300 second
Focal Length
5 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Feb 2, 2009, 9:15:17 AM
© 2009 - 2021 merimask
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dragona742's avatar
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!
FadingFoxglove's avatar
This is so cool! I've never seen a design like this.
merimask's avatar

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.
FadingFoxglove's avatar
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.
hodgepodge200's avatar
wow I think this is one of my favorites
animegirlfroggy's avatar
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.
merimask's avatar
Thank you so much! :-)
FullMoonFairy's avatar
merimask's avatar
Thank you. :-)

If you check out the journal link on my DA page, you'll see a tutorial showing how I built it.
Ellygator's avatar
I remember reading your "How To" on this mask. Beautiful piece!
merimask's avatar
Thank was a lot of work. :-)
tallydragon's avatar
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. :)
merimask's avatar
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.
Mymeke's avatar
wow, amazing :D
merimask's avatar
Mymeke's avatar
you're welcome
Chaos2112's avatar
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.
merimask's avatar
Thank you! :-)

Actually it's going to be part of a really elaborate costume...the person who bought it has big plans.
Oraien's avatar
Added this one to my favorites. It's beautiful and I loved the step by step explanation you did for your tutorial!
merimask's avatar
Thank you so much. :-) It was a labor of love (both to make the mask & to document it in the tutorial!)
SkyeTrinity's avatar
This is really amazing. I love all the different critters you included. Good luck in the contest. :glomp:
merimask's avatar
Thank you very much. :-) Keep your fingers crossed for me!
TheGreatGonzo26's avatar
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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