The lid was giving us a bit of a headache and Emily comically said, ‘lets put our head on it’ and that gave us the idea that she would sculpt my face and me, hers and join them together to be stuck as the lid. As you can see my figurative skills are not the best; however, in my head it has the essence of Emily. I actually liked this idea as we like to believe it is our tea set’s lucky charm keeping all the bad spirits away.
Looking at my roots, in Madeira, people for decades have put these ceramic sculptures of heads and doves at each end of their houses roof. This symbolically is a way of protecting their homes as its being watched from all corners.
Ugly face pottery, first made for African-American rituals to place on graves to scare evil spirits away so the soul could go to heaven, they have become a folk art collectible for those that enjoy the unusual. Some were made in moonshine times, when Grandpas would store their moonshine in such a jug to keep the children away from the “devil jug”.
Looking back at the second day of our Future Generations workshop with the amazing and talented James Green were he has done an extended amount of work (ranging on colours and materials) and research on masks and where its heading onto our Future Generations. Masks have been used since antiquity for both ceremonial and practical purposes, normally worn on the face, typically for protection, disguise, performance, or entertainment. There was these two particular examples that interested me of Diablo Uno Masks from Equador, which James Green got them at Otavalo Market. Worn by dancers during the Inti Rymi celebration of the summer solstice, these masks slip over the head and have 2 sides so the dancer can never be surprised by the devil. Dancing begins the night of the summer solstice and continues until the dancers drop from exhaustion. After a brief rest and more drink, the dancing continues.
During this workshop, we were given some white paper, charcoal, scissors and tape to build our very own masks. Really interesting how simply adding two holes and mouth to a piece of paper can transform and give a mask a personality. Also the variety of creative idea around the massive group was pretty incredible.
Here more simple design looking into how the mouth can suggest different feeling and personalities.