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Japanese Goldfish Mask by merimask Japanese Goldfish Mask by merimask
This mask was inspired by a mural in Narita Airport! If you've ever flown to Tokyo, you've probably seen it...

Based on Asian motifs, I made this my own creation by using a unique technique of leather sculpting that I have pioneered (because I'm self taught and I didn't know what the heck I was doing!).

The mask is carved out of 8oz leather, three times the thickness of most Venetian-style leather masks. This allows me to carve the leather deeply, but requires me to shape the entire sculpture by hand with no use of molds or armatures.

I painted it with a variety of acrylic stains that are both waterproof and colorfast. I like to mix my own colors. I also do not use an airbrush...that's all done by hand.

Many of these pieces are available for sale on my Etsy site; [link]
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:iconbadpooka:
badpooka Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2009
Wow... stunning. I dabble in leather and am self-taught, too. I hope to be this good, one day.
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:iconwishinglolita:
wishinglolita Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's simply breathtaking! It;s beautiful
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:icongamehengraphics:
gamehengraphics Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I love the flair of the tail at the temple and how the bubbles trail across the forehead. Great color on the fish itself, too.
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you very much. :-)
Reply
:icontmt89:
TMT89 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2009
you can just bend the mask into the shape u want? i never done any of this kind but after seeing your work im just realllly curious lol. If you carve the leather then what do you fill in the cut area?
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Check out my journal entries on the front page of my DA site...there you'll find one called "How to make a mask" that should answer all your questions. :-)
Reply
:iconswing-therapie:
Swing-Therapie Featured By Owner May 22, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
this is stunning
i will have to check out your etsy for a masquarade I have comming up =) all of your work is beautiful
Reply
:iconcarlotta4th:
Carlotta4th Featured By Owner May 22, 2009   Traditional Artist
This one's probably my favorite in terms of design and colors. I LOVE the colors.
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:icondopehat6:
DopeHat6 Featured By Owner May 14, 2009
Oh my... this is soooo beautiful. Amazing really! :love:
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:iconbelovedunderwing:
BelovedUnderwing Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2009  Professional General Artist
I truly love the blue-black color on this, and the goldfish is just perfect.
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks so much. :-)
Reply
:iconkinky-typo:
Kinky-Typo Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2009
I really love this mask! :D
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks! ^_^
Reply
:iconaznanimechick:
AznAnimeChick Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2009
Oh my goodness! That mask is absolutely breathtaking! You did wonderfully!
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks! It's a rather simple design but the goldfish flows in such a happy way...
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:iconmissnaive:
MissNaive Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2009
OH MY GOD! I want one..BAD!!! it´s beautiful and I couldn´t find it on your Etsy site :(
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
I have a pattern saved & can make another for you. :-) Just contact me from my Etsy site if/when you are interested. It takes less than a week for me to make one.
Reply
:iconfreakdearts:
freakdearts Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009  Student Filmographer
I especially like how the bubbles play across the black...
Reply
:iconsnow-white-in-blue:
snow-white-in-blue Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
:jawdrop: fabulous!
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you. :-)
Reply
:iconsnow-white-in-blue:
snow-white-in-blue Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2009
welcome:)
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:iconpluginbliss:
pluginbliss Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2009
beautiful
your masks are truly amazing :)
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you. ^_^
Reply
:icononestripe:
OneStripe Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2009
It's got such a delicate look but at the same time it's made of thick leather, it's captivating.
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you!

Yeah I like the idea of utilitarian art; art that's something you can use & handle every day.
Reply
:icononestripe:
OneStripe Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2009
Yeah yeah, welcome. :nod:
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:iconoibyrdsdds:
OibyrdsDDs Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2009
I have featured your work in my Top 10 list for 2008 here:

[link]

thank you for sharing your artistic vision with us - and have a wonderful 2009! :heart:
Warm Regards.
Sandi
aka `oibyrd
PS - I apologize for the cut-and-paste - all a part of time management ;)
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks so much for including me in your collection, Sandi. I'm honored. ^_^
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:iconpuka23:
puka23 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008  Professional General Artist
you're really skilled, keep up your wonderful work :D
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you very much. ^_^
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:icontrollgirl:
TrollGirl Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Your work is beautiful ^_^
Maybe you would consider my suggestion - when you upload a picture, divide it in 2 and present a person wearing a mask along with the picture of the mask alone, it would give the viewer a better angle perhaps.
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks!

That's a good idea. I wish there was an option to show more than one angle of a 3-d piece...I'm pretty awful at photo manipulation.

Anyway, at my Etsy site you can see many of these from several angles.
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:iconskyetrinity:
SkyeTrinity Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I love how the fish curls around the side of the mask...fabulous!
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks! You can get really dynamic when shaping leather...it's very versatile.
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:iconerronius:
Erronius Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008
Tonawanda???! The "Smelly Swamp?!" (In Iroqouis) I grew up there, ages ago, near Kenmore [L]East. ^_^ Bully for you!
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
Yep, that's less than a mile from my house. ^_^
Reply
:iconerronius:
Erronius Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2009
Hey there, Ms Andrea,

I will probably visiting my folks in Williamsville in mid-October, and I was wondering whether you have studio hours when flunkoids from the public can view your stuff.

Eric
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Hi Eric,

Well, I never know what I'm going to be doing, but when the time gets closer drop me a message & perhaps we'll work something out. :-)
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:iconerronius:
Erronius Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2009
Hi, Ms Andrea,

I'm in WNY this week and early next week, and I was wondering whether there might be any conveeeenient time when I might be able to stop by and see your work. If not, yuhknow, no big deal if you are busy.

Eric
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:iconerronius:
Erronius Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008
(Intake of breath) How beautiful and elegant. That trail of bubbles and the twirly ribbons in the photo... as usual, it's the little things that make it. Just great.
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks so much...I'm into the details. :-)
Reply
:iconmidorichilde:
midorichilde Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008  Student Digital Artist
Out of all your works I love this one the most!

So Elegant and simple, it's gorgious!
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you! Yeah, sometimes less is more...I like the simplicity of this piece too.
Reply
:iconmidorichilde:
midorichilde Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008  Student Digital Artist
I love your works. I'll deffinately be buying one of these for next years halloween masquerade!
Reply
:iconangelofthelabyrinth:
AngeloftheLabyrinth Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008
Wow. This makes me want to go out and buy a crap-ton of leather....
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
I buy a side at a time. 1-800-TANNERY. Best tooling leather in America.
Reply
:iconangelofthelabyrinth:
AngeloftheLabyrinth Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008
woo!
Reply
:iconcalyptra:
Calyptra Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
You know, you may call this japanese, but it wouldn't be very out of place in a European ball :D
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
Very true! The burnished gold and flowing design looks almost baroque...
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:iconcalyptra:
Calyptra Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
It does! And the gold isn't over shiny either. Its this burnished shade which goes so gorgeously with black that I have to keep myself from jumping up and down and squeaking with excitement :lol:

and you know what really pleases? The attention to small detail - like the trail of bubbles. Makes it obvious that you put a lot of time and effort into your pieces :D
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November 20, 2008
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