Friday, September 7, 2018

The Newest of an Ancient Art

Did you know the oldest mask found was dated 7000 BC.?  I didn't . This       " Small Spirit" is dated 2018,  a  recent addition to my portfolio. It measures about eight inches, including all its decorative additions. I am having a show starting this October at the Jerome Artists' Cooperative .
 I enjoy creating  new surprises to display. I am now entranced with adding stones and beads to the copper wire I use to hang this ceramic image.They seem to float. If you look closely, you can see the  two blue beads I created. Easier to match colors, although clay is always risky. 
It also got me wondering about all the masks every where, which are so much a part of our world culture.
In 13th century Venice, Italy, masks were worn at  Carnival, perhaps to get around the rigid society of its time. Dia de las Muertes in Mexico invites the Calveras, or skull, honoring the dead and acknowledging that it will visit us all at one point. Africa has long been a source of these images. In China they show up at the celebration to bring in the new Year.Masks are used for protection;disguise; ritual, and entertainment, and come in all sizes and  materials.
 My passion is clay, and certainly in my travels I have seen others who use this medium. I started making the miniature size because they seemed so detailed and yet so ...small. Something you can even hold in your hand. Surely there is a space in everyone's life for something so petit and yet intriguing?