Facilitator - Camille Hulbert, MStar Arts Creative
African Masks are used for ceremonies, rituals, initiations, performances, etc. They are made of wood, beads, textiles, etc., and of various shapes. African masks and sculptures have influenced the works of many artists around the world including Matisse and Picasso.
Thank you for joining us for our mask making workshop titled "Africa, Fiber, and Cloth" Part 1.
In this workshop we will be making masks using Mixed Media consisting of plant material & paint. This is the opener for our Fall workshop series,“Harvest Time”. Throughout this series we will make dolls from corn husks, expand on our mask making using multi-purpose textiles, explore African’s use of celestial knowledge for the Harvest, and other celebrations and rituals.
We will use the art created in this series as part of creating an assemblage in preparation for our Annual two part Kwanzaa workshops in December. All of the workshops in this series will be featured for the final workshop titled “First Fruits of the Harvest” when we will make our Kwanzaa 2020 project and culminate with our creation of a Kwanzaa Assemblage incorporating our creations from all of the “Harvest Time” workshops! We hope you will join us for each of these “Harvest Time” workshops as we celebrate the Harvest!
Flower mask made by Camille Hulbert of
(c) Savannah African Art Museum
We have been wearing protective masks for the past few months due to COVID 19. However, our September workshops will focus on a mask of a different kind----African Masks!
African Masks are used for many purposes, such as, ceremonies, rituals, initiations, performances, etc. They can be made of wood, beads, textiles, etc., and come in a variety of shapes.
Masks and sculptures from all over the continent of Africa have been the influential catalyst for many artists throughout history.
For this workshop we were inspired by the symmetry of the museum's Kakungu Mask. This mask comes from the Suku people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Kakungu mask is worn by the adult leaders and charm specialists of nkanda (the young men's initiation camp), particularly on the day of individual initiation, for the subsequent breaking of food restrictions, and the day of departure from the nkanda camp. The Kakungu prevents evil from entering the camp, and for this purpose the mask was often kept in a special shelter within or near the initiation site
Kakungu Mask on view at the
Savannah African Art Museum
Are there any African Masks that inspire or interest you?
Use it as inspiration for this workshop! We are going to show you how to make one style of mask below, feel free to follow along or create your own design. Please Share your finished mask with us!
Let's Get Started
Plant Material Mask Kits are available for purchase through Camille's website. Click the image or the link below.
What You Will Need
1 Half Face Mask
1 oz. Modge Podge
2 oz. Tacky Glue
1/2 dozen Roses (dried or fresh)
Paint (Acrylic or Fabric)
Mixed Media Paper 11x10
Palette or Pallet Paper (Mix Paint)
This mask is going to be made with plant material (roses) and paint (acrylic or fabric).
Prepare Rose Pedals To Be Glued to Mask
You will use your half mask, roses and paint for the plant material and paint mask. Remove all roses from the stem if working with fresh rose pedals. If you have dried rose pedals you will use the same preparation as we use for the fresh rose pedals. To prepare the rose pedals to be glued on to the mask, you will use the modge podge, like it is paint, and paint the front and back of each flower pedal. Leave each flower pedal to dry slightly for about 5-10 minutes.(The rose pedals do not need to be completely dry because they are going to be used in the next step).
Glue the Rose Pedals to the Mask
You are going to place the roses on one side of the mask like you are painting each rose pedal individually, but instead of using paint, use the modge podge for fresh rose pedals and the tacky glue for dried rose pedals.(You can refer back to step one, if you are unsure how to prepare the rose pedals to be placed on the mask). The techniques we are using to glue the rose pedals to the mask are assemblage and collage used in fiber art, textile art and fine art.
Get out those paints! Let's paint our mask
The side of the mask you did not put the rose pedals on, you are now going to paint. Paint the opposite side of the mask that you assembled or collaged your rose pedals with either fabric or acrylic paint.
Prepare to Use Mixed Media Paper to Collage or Assemble Mask and Paint More
You can prepare your mixed media paper the same way you prepared your rose pedals in step one. You will paint the mixed media paper with modge podge like you did with the rose pedals in step one. Once you have painted the mixed media paper with modge podge, you will use the tacky glue to glue your mask to the mixed media paper.
Create Shape and Paint Mask
Continue to collage or assemble the rose pedals into any African mask shape you choose. Use the side of the mask you assembled or collaged the rose pedals as one side of the mask shape. Once you have shaped one side of the mask, shape the other side of the mask to match the rose pedal side with paint.
When we finished our mask we cut it out of the paper we painted on to make a larger custom shaped mask!
We also added yellow paint to the right side of our mask for more texture!
Send us what you made! We would love to feature it on the workshop page!
Visual Step By Step Video