At the moment P7 are studying Brazil, so we thought it would interesting to design the sort of masks that would be worn in a Brazilian Carnival (Carnival is Portuguese for ‘giving up meat’), so we decided to ask Gemma (who did animation with us earlier in the year) if she would come in and show us how to make the masks. She said yes!
On Monday she came in to start making the masks with us. She showed us lots of pictures of Carnivals, and told us a little bit about them. Carnivals consist of lots of different Samba schools making HUGE floats that have something to do with their logos, and then parade them to show off to the public. There are also a lot of flambuoyent costumes and masks. Gemma thought that a good mask to make would be one like a lion, because that is the logo of a Samba school.
We started with a simple face mask and proceeded to give it all the features of a lion. There was a nose and 2 ears to make, but when we’d finished we couldn’t quite believe it had ever looked like a human face!
Then we had to cover it in paper mache. We were given Latex gloves so that our hands woudn’t get too sticky, and off we went. We had to dip strips of newspaper into watery glue and then stick them onto our lion’s face, until we’d covered it all. To finish off our day’s work, we left the masks to dry.
Thursday was our last day to make them, and we were going to be painting them and making the lion’s mane. First, Gemma showed us how to make the backing for the mane, before moving on swiftly to the painting. We were given four colours to use, white, yellow, orange and red. The nose, eyes, and centres of the ears were white, the rest yellow, with a borderline of orange and red. Later on we would use permanent black marker for the details.
We made the mane using warm colours such as yellow, orange, red and pink. There was some shiny paper, as well as crepe paper. We had to rip strands of the paper and stick them on to the backing of the mane.
Gemma came round the class with a glue-gun to stick our masks onto the manes while we were at break.
To finish it all off we used ‘uhu’ glue to stick glitter and sequins to the lions’ manes. Some people even gave the masks glittery eyebrows! We even gave them whiskers using the shiny paper from earlier.
In fact, the masks’ only bad point is that they are ornamental, which means they don’t have any eye-holes!
By Rachel Neighbour and Caitlin Lyness.