Wire Masquerade Mask

December 06, 2014


This week is finals week, and to start things off right my campus ministry held a Masquerade formal on Dead Day Eve. I could have easily worn the mask that I made for my 16th birthday that I was so excited about, but would that do? No, of course not. This is me we are talking about. I had to make something new!

Almost a year ago, I scribbled a little note in my sketchbook about "wire masks with swirlies." I can't remember which sketchbook and I very well might just be making that up, but I think it was written somewhere, and I certainly played with the idea in my head for a bit.

My problem was that I am very ridiculously busy and I kept prioritizing other jewelry projects, particularly the tried-and-true variants that I know I can sell, because, you know, it's quite nice to have money. Although I had the opportunity to do some experimenting last summer, there still wasn't time for everything!

The night before the dance, I sat down at my desk with sterling silver plated wire, rhinestones, three boxes of beads, pliers, a mirror, and some good music. After an hour I joined some of my friends in my dorm, and we all worked on masks (they made some gorgeous painted ones) until after midnight!


The finished mask is very sturdy-- I am pleasantly surprised at how it turned out! The nose piece-- inspired of course by the traditional nosepiece on Venetian masks-- does an excellent job of keeping the mask in place on the face.


The swirls give an almost fairytale appeal to this mask, and of course the pearls and rhinestones make it glimmer and sparkle!

One of the best surprises about this mask is that even after several hours of wearing it, I did not have any dents from metal on my skin, and the swirls NEVER tangled up in my hair!
(My necklace, on the other hand...)

(Fun fact: I made my necklace in a metalworks class, the first ever jewelry class I've taken, last semester-- I'll blog about that class soon. The chain is made from solid sterling silver wire and solid fine silver wire and took at least five hours to make. I love it.)


I found that it was quite difficult to mold the mask to fit my face. It must have been quite a picture-- every couple of minutes, after hammering wire in my little dorm room, I held crazy strands of wire up to my face and shaped it just so.



I also had to show off my hair... I did it myself and it worked out the first time I tried!

For those of you girly girls wondering what a girl who doesn't own a prom dress wears to a college formal... I wore an a-line knee-length little black dress with a slender red belt, a red bracelet and silver ring, black leggings, and black boots (let's face it-- who can actually dance in heels? It is totally not worth it). To top it off I wore a sparkly red scarf as a shawl to drape across my elbows, but that (of course) lasted about five minutes. Since it was cold out I wore my jacket-- a red faux leather that looks very much like Emma Swan's from Once Upon a Time.


Of course I couldn't resist putting at least a couple of my favorite Czech glass leaf beads on the mask!



The circlet seems to fit everyone who asked to try it on-- including my lovely suitemate, pictured here.


Sparkly beads! 


See our cute little Charlie Brown Christmas tree in the back? It's actually the topper from my family's old tree, which we stuck in a jar and taped to the table. :)


Thanks to my amazing suitemate for helping to model!


I only took one in-progress shot. Here it is! At this point I was not very hopeful because the wire kept going everywhere and I may or may not have poked myself in the eye once. I will not be doing that again! I've learned my lesson!


The mask has now been cleaned and is available for sale on Etsy at Shealynn's Faerie Shoppe in case anyone is interested. I'd love an opportunity to make other kinds of masks, too!

The mask was a big hit, but the best thing was getting to spend hours dancing with my friends! I'm off to the world of studying for finals, so I must bid you adieu, but I hope that you've enjoyed these pictures! 

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