How to build a mask...

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merimask's avatar
By merimask
Of some interest, perhaps.

So many people have been asking me how I make my masks, I decided to write a couple of "tutorial" entries in my LiveJournal, with pictures!  Go here for the first part:…
And the second part is here:…

I hope any aspiring mask artists out there find this to be helpful.  At least it'll give you some insight into how I do what I do...since I'm self-taught these are my own weird trade secrets & methods.

© 2009 - 2021 merimask
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Azametta's avatar
Thank you for this!! :)
Fisticuff-Cosplay's avatar
Thanks a million for this tutorial! We'll post what we do with it <3
Morwynn's avatar
This tutorial is fantastic and can be applied to so many different things in leather. I was wondering what is your take on using 4oz leather for masks? Thank you so much for sharing and helping to educate those of us who are starting out.
INeedAMaster's avatar
i have been following your work for a while and i just saw the tutorial..AWESOME!!! i am really glad that you shared it with us because not many artists will.
WhiteWingedAngelGirl's avatar
Have u ever watched the japanese anime, Ginga Densetsu Weed? or Wolf's Rain? i recon character masks of the character would be so fricken cool, so if you decide to watch em or make the masks, obviously in your own time, can u message me? PLEASE? i would love to see my fav characters come to life in your masks!
merimask's avatar
I'm a huge anime nerd...I actually did do a Wolfs Rain "Tsume" once, with his cute scar.

Plus, I named my husky "Kiba". [link]

Huge, huge anime nerd. I don't do anime masks often though 'cause of copyright issues.
WhiteWingedAngelGirl's avatar
Oh right, Damn! never mind....i was just thinking of my fave character in Ginga Densetsu Weed, he's a ginger and white Borzoi called Rocket.
FYI he has two brothers called Jet and Missle who are brown. Borzoi are one of my fav breeds!
Huskies are too since i have two, hehe.
Kiba is adorable btw!
KirscheTea's avatar
Wow, your art really makes me want to give mask making a shot. All of your work is wonderful, and it seems like it must be fun.

Excellent tutorial by the way!
merimask's avatar
Thanks, I'm glad it was enlightening. :-)
GarbageLicker's avatar
Ahh! Thank you so much for adding this! It's very informative.
Now I only wonder if faux leather would work, as well. :giggle:
merimask's avatar
Mmmm...nope. Faux leather is made of plastic, & will melt.
windfalcon's avatar
Thank you so much for this tutorial. I've been planning on trying my hand at a leather mask for quite some time, and your tutorial is exactly what I was looking for. :) Your masks are lovely, by the way!
merimask's avatar
You're welcome. :-) I'm glad it was helpful information.
a-rth-urp-hil-ipdenu's avatar
fantastic tutorial! its amazing to see the process of making such incredible masks, i was wondering what got you into mask making in the first place? and did you always work in leather? it seems like a scary media when you start off.
bigvallysgirl's avatar
After looking at all the work you put into your mask I think you are way under charging. They should be a collector's item. But your work is very beautiful I wish you the best.
eschlehahn's avatar
The tutorials are simply awesome. Thanks for taking the effort and time to share some knowledge about mask-making.

I have a livejournal page too and I'd love to read more of you in future. Mind if I add you to my friendslist there ?
animegirlfroggy's avatar
I found you through your amazing entry in the your secret graden contest. I was curious on two accounts 1) Do you take commissions 2) If you took commissions would you ever consider scaling them for say a doll?
merimask's avatar
Yes, I take commissions (contact me at my etsy shop) and I have made smaller masks for dolls but there's a limit as to how small I can go. Like, barbie-sized dolls...probably not. Basically you'd have to make a paper pattern (just a simple "domino-style" paper pattern for size & eye placement) that fits your doll, and mail it to me, for me to make something that would be the exact right size.
animegirlfroggy's avatar
My dolls aren't as small as barbies, but maybe one day ill do that, I think it would be really neat. I'll keep an eye on your etsy store so when I have some spare money ill get me a really awesome mask.
furyfull's avatar
that is a gorgeous mask and thank you so much for posting a tutorial! I've always wondered how leather masks were made!
merimask's avatar
You're welcome. :-)

I kind of make mine in an odd, "self-taught" way...everyone does leather masks differently. I guess that's why I thought it was time to document my method.
paintedmaru's avatar
this tutorial is amazing. thanks for sharing this.

i was wondering, i had read somewhere that it's better to use vegetable oil tanned leather for masks like these. do you agree with that or what would you say is a better option of leather?
merimask's avatar
I'm glad the tutorial was helpful. :-)

I prefer Veg tan myself. Chemical tanning methods use chrome dyes & sealers which impede the absorbtion of water, which is key for carving & shaping.

In my tutorials, in the "comments" sections, I offer more advice on supplies & where to find them. In short, I get my leather from 1-800-TANNERY.
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