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November 20, 2008
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DSC-W170
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Oct 1, 2008, 11:56:56 AM
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White Oni Mask by merimask White Oni Mask by merimask
This is my own version of a Japanese Oni (demon) mask, made entirely from leather.

Based on Japanese Kyogen theater 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.

This particular mask is appearing onstage in Japan, from October through mid-December of 2008. It is featured as part of the Muscle Musical "Magicarade" performance.

Many of these pieces are available for sale on my Etsy site; [link]
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:iconunderdog-girl:
Underdog-Girl Jan 20, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I notice with this and another oni mask the eyes look kind of sad... Strangely enough that's what makes me love them! :love: Keep adding character to your masks.
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:icongingerpanderz:
GiNgErPaNdErZ Jan 10, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I have an idea for a mask. It's an old Japanese legend thing. Maybe you could think of something to do with it?
I know you could pull it off. You have the talent.
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:icondananew1:
dananew1 May 4, 2009   Traditional Artist
Aww, this one is definitely one of my favorites... Probably because I love Onis. <3
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:iconlhene-amira:
Lhene-Amira Nov 25, 2008  Student Writer
It looks like it's confused. =p
I really like how it invokes emotions even when it's not on someone's face.
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Nov 26, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
That's true! This mask was inspired by Kyogen theater oni masks...& that eye shape is specifically for tragic "ghost" spirits that are eternally confused & saddened because they are trapped in limbo (& therefore are dangerous!)
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:iconlhene-amira:
Lhene-Amira Nov 26, 2008  Student Writer
That's very interesting. Do all your masks have this sort of depth behind them?
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Nov 26, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
That particular mask was part of a very special project. I provided 45 masks for the "Muscle Musical" production called Magicarade, which is running right now in Tokyo. The theme for the show is magic & masks...perfect for my work!

But yes, in general I do research my motifs & inspirations pretty throughly. When people say "Why did you do it this way?" I like to give answers that make sense & possibly even enlighten. ^_^
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:iconlhene-amira:
Lhene-Amira Nov 26, 2008  Student Writer
45 masks?! How long did that take??
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Nov 28, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
Well...in a normal month I make about 20 to 25 masks. But this was a huge opportunity for me & I had a really tight deadline, so I created all 45 masks in just under 3 weeks! It was a heck of a feat, to be honest. I surprised myself!
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:iconlhene-amira:
Lhene-Amira Nov 28, 2008  Student Writer
That's pretty amazing. What types of masks did you have to make, besides the demon ones?
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