The Artists

Cyndy Salisbury

Paper mache masks

(206) 228-3381

I discovered mask making eight years ago when asked to help decorate for a fundraising event. The process was totally captivating and I quickly found myself immersed in this new medium, embracing historic techniques and materials while exploring new territory beyond the traditional forms.

Each mask starts with rendering an idea or sketch into 3D by sculpting a form in terra cotta that, when covered in plaster, yields the negative mold. Alternatively, the faces of friends and family can be cast in plaster, then those simple molds altered and modified as needs require. After layers of wool paper (carta lana) are built up in the mold and dried, the blank mask is removed, painted, and finished.

I find the human face an evocative canvas on which to bring to life compelling archetypes from myth, ritual, and drama. I want my masks to be worn for pleasure, but also to conjure up the transforming energy of the Greek stage, the psychic resonance of the Commedia dell’arte, and the provocative enchantment of the Venetian Carnivale.