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Submitted on
December 15, 2008
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1.2 MB


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Date Taken
Dec 15, 2008, 12:17:03 PM
Red Oni Mask by merimask Red Oni Mask by merimask
This is one of the masks I designed for the "Magicarade" Muscle Musical stage production, in Japan. A red oni mask.

When the producer decided that he wanted masks with a Japanese look to them, I was really frightened. At first I thought "Why do they want my masks then? When they can get really awesome traditional Japanese masks at any shrine market?"

But then, once I started sketching in earnest, I realized I could still create masks in my own style, while showing the influence of the traditional Japanese theater. For instance, no Japanese oni mask would have wildly sculpted hair like I did on this would be real hair or else no hair at all. My use of textures (the scales) and motifs (that swirly gold design) are all my own too.

Most importantly, the fact that this mask is made of leather really makes it different from most Japanese masks. Leather is not as common in Japan as it is here in America, so traditionaly theater masks are made of wood or paper mache.

Anyway, this was one of my favorite designs that I did for the show.

You can see more of my work at my online Etsy shop: [link]
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Sinderfox2196 Featured By Owner May 17, 2010
really love all the masks! =)
ive started to make masks so far my first sucess was a clay mask but i would like to make a leather one, and i was wondering where you got the leather from if you don't mind saying.
merimask Featured By Owner May 17, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
If you look on my front page, under the blue cat you'll find tutorials. Also, at my group Leather Mask Art (link at the top of my page) there are blogs you will find helpful, including one about leather sources. It's all there. :-)
Sinderfox2196 Featured By Owner May 18, 2010
oops i didn't see those ^_^
thankyou =)
Beltram Featured By Owner May 2, 2010
i love love this one
merimask Featured By Owner May 3, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you. :-)
dragona742 Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i know why the producer asked you for it, all of your masks are just amazing! just like this one!

ps: if you don't mind me asking, what is an oni exactly?
merimask Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
An Oni is a Japanese spirit or demon...generally malevolent.
marveloriddle Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2009
May I ask what tool you used to make the scales?
merimask Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
I'm using something called a "mule foot". It's actually a small scoop-shaped tool that makes a single stamped Western carving you're supposed to space it in a line to create a scalloped edge. I find that it makes a great "scale" though & if you are careful placing it, it ends up looking almost real.
marveloriddle Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2009
Thank you so much for the reply. I've been trying to gather some real advice from the leather crafters here, and so far no one really seems to want to help the newbie. thanks again.
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