Even the most simply constructed masks can powerfully transform the face. We all understand that human face communicates information. Masks evoke, reveal, and conceal information all at the same time.
Making a mask enables creator to explore various aspects of his or her own persona – it can be revealing as it takes the mask maker out of the realm of words and employs imagination and nonverbal action.
A simple mask making technique involves molding clay into facial features and then applying different materials (paper mache and/or molding cloth) over the top of the sculpted mask face. Modelling clay with hands, fingers, and palms can provide a powerful connection to deep-rooted feelings through this tactile, nonverbal experience of working physically with the clay. By engaging in this activity the imagination of the mask maker may find new ways to communicate hidden thoughts, feelings, and memories through the creation of meaningful symbols that are shaped into the clay as the mask evolves.
Feelings, images and memories may emerge during the mask making session but even more so in mask using sessions when the mask, made by the client, is used. The inanimate mask comes to life when worn. It becomes charged with a life force from within the wearer. Shamans and healers around the globe has always understood this magic of making and using masks.
Besides being a therapeutic tool, mask making can be a simple pleasure on its own. Mask making and working with masks can help unlock basic playfulness and sense of creative adventure. Adults engaged in busy and demanding lives don’t often have or take time to engage in a hands-on creative process. By simply indulging in the mask making process, the participant can reopen doors and creative pathways long ago forgotten.
We can heal and be healed through integration by using our innate gift of imagination and our ability to create. Masks are a powerful tool in the process of healing and the journey toward wholeness.
This is an extracts from an article “The Benefits of Mask Making in a Journey toward Wholeness” by Douglas Mitchell / GoodTherapy.org
Our next Mask Making Workshop takes place in January 2024 (26 – 28), and although it aims at Czech participants it will be English friendly so anybody interested to take part from abroad is welcome. Just fill in the form below and we will get back to you.
Pictures from last year’s mask making workshop at the Open Space