Carnival In July

It's August, and I'm already thinking about what I'll be wearing to Mardi Gras in New Orleans this year. I went four years ago and had a blast, but this time I'm in it for REAL. We are cordially invited to the exclusive Krewe Ball, which requires a lavish and unique costume. I've already got my royal purple shirt- I need a mask.

I plan to build my own mask from scratch, from an original design. There are several factors to consider; it needs to be lightweight and wearable, it needs to be strong enough to survive travel (and Bourbon Street), it needs to be breathable and drinkable (I don't want to remove it for every sip of sangria), and it needs to be as colorful as king cake.

Traditionally, masks are made from paper mache or paper pulp, but I'm thinking of a resin mix, maybe with fiberglass support. So... how do I figure out what to make?

Several years ago I spent a few weeks living in an apartment in Venice- I'd take the water taxi through the Grand Canal every day and wander through the streets surrounding St. Mark's, gazing at shop windows filled with artisan crafted Carnival masks. Carnival is the celebration of Fat Tuesday (your last day of freedom before Lent, if you're Catholic) so traditionally, it is a day of vice and pleasure, purging the body of temptation before the 40 day religious fast. The pre-Lent party was transported to the New World, where it took particularly strong root in New Orleans, and thus our modern Mardi Gras was born.

So, I’m gonna build a Carnival mask. I’ll post sketches when I have some good ones, till then, here are my references.


knowm said...

Your references link doesn't work. In any case, a good place to start might be to decide on whether to make an original, or to build off of what already exists. Neither choice is inferior, really. You could sport this one:


Savanna Leigh said...

Thanks for alerting me about my bad link! It is fixed now :) I like the multiple eyes idea you've suggested- I will surely consider that in my designs