An Eco-Friendly Creative Option: Mask-Making

Diego Marcial Rios Staring Cat Mask

We live in times of vanishing resources.  The planet Earth can no longer support the current human population.  Water, materials, clean air, fossil fuels and arable land are running out! Time for artist of the world to recycle and conserve like never before! Artists have always been at the forefront of social movements!

Ancient Egyptian death masks were made from layers of papyrus or linen covered with plaster. Today, we can use recycled paper or last week's daily newspaper to make dramatic shapes for all types of paper maché masks. Paper maché is an art media that can use almost exclusively recycled materials. The flour and salt ingredients are inexpensive and can be found in almost any kitchen.  Many paper maché artists use processed flour that cannot be sold or used to due to a passed expiration date or even insect infestation.

Paper maché forms (after drying) are strong and durable.  In past centuries paper maché had been used for canoes and even the tops of planetary observatories.  Countless artists in developing countries such as Mexico have used paper maché to create stunning 3-D art forms and masks. These art forms have lasted centuries.

It is time that fine artists start to consider using more paper maché more often.  The cost of producing a paper maché 3-D piece is fraction of the cost of using clay, glue, metal, or any sort of plastic.

If you are an artist or simply need a way to channel your creative impulses, please consider or start using paper maché!  You will save money and be kinder to the planet at the same time.