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Meaningful masks: high school.

Significant Problem

Introduce students to relief sculpture and papier-mache techniques through the creation of expressive face masks with symbolic meaning.

Essential Concepts.

1. Enhancing expressiveness through exaggeration and distortion.

2. Using symbolic shapes and colors to communicate meaning.

3. Considering expressive qualities of relief and design elements.


papier-mache pulp, one Styrofoam wig stand per student, assorted colors of acrylic paint, brushes, water containers, paper towels, newspaper strips, wheat paste

Guiding Practice

Discuss and show samples of relief sculpture. Demonstrate subtractive and additive techniques for forming masks with papier-mache pulp and layers of pasted strips. Discuss and show examples of masks from a variety of cultures, with emphasis on design and expressive qualities. Also talk about use of color and symbolic shape to enhance expression and communicate meaning.

Students shape masks on the front half of wig stand as a base, using either pressed paper pulp, pasted strips of newspaper, or a combination of both techniques. Encourage students to modify and/or exaggerate facial features to enhance their expressiveness.

When face relief is formed, allow it to dry for a full day or more, then carefully ease off of wig stand. Paint the mask to emphasize facial features.

Assessing Learning

Do the masks project a powerful expression? How? Are they unique? Are they well crafted? Is there a strong relief effect in the sculptured faces?

ClipCard submitted by Kelly Sullivan, an art teacher in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:studying relief sculpture and maskmaking
Author:Sullivan, Kelly
Publication:School Arts
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Sep 1, 2003
Previous Article:Shaping human form.
Next Article:Symmetrical suns: elementary school.

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