Rip Van Winkle took a long nap. While he slept, the ivy grew around his hat. Seasons came and went, the birds lost feathers that fell on to his hair.
Swiss family Robinson is a story about a family shipped wrecked, and what efforts they made to survive. In my mask, I’ve built them a tree house with a look-out tower. The roof is covered in palm thatch (raffia). They have salvaged the transom window from the stern of the ship for their tree house. In the mask there are small “window pane” eye holes set behind cellophane. Above the window, they saved the ship’s name board, and renamed the tree house “The Falcon’s Nest.”
The front door was salvaged as the old cabin door with the brass porthole window, and the porch railings are old belaying pins that once held the sheet lines on the rail. The rope railing is very fine leather lacing.
Up on the roof, they still fly the Swiss flag.
As you may have guessed all these details involved internet research to find the right sculpture shapes.
Robinson Crusoe lived on a lonely island after his ship wreck. He made a palm leaf hat to keep off the rain. It wasn’t until he saw a sailing ship off his coast, that he ever thought he would be rescued. In the mask, along his beard has grown long and scraggy, there is a glimmer of hope in his eyes as the sailing ship approaches his beach.
Anne of Green Gables was one of the first books that the first step in a girl’s adulthood didn’t have to be marriage. Girls could dream about having a career and their own money.
The real house isn’t a replicated in the mask because the facade lacked symmetry, and since faces are symmetrical, I had to give myself a little “artistic license. Step by step, I hand cut the green shingles for the gable for the forehead. The “eyes” are second story windows that have blue gingham curtains and cellophane “glass” windows. The nose hole is hidden under the peak of the porch roof.
Anne is waiting on the porch to serve her guest her favorite red cordial cocktail. Since she is so small, the figure had to be hand drawn. She is wearing a check green jumper and blouse with long black stockings with black oxford shoes.
The Little House series of books transported girls everywhere from the modern world back to frontier times where home made food and fun were part of everyday life. It was a time when children had house or farm chores and their lessons as well. In the book, the family lived in a log cabin made by hand.
How best to express the rustic quality of country living? The girl is wearing a gingham and polka dot “prairie bonnet.” What about the hair? Straw was to brittle and even the raffia stiff until it was moistened. After I glued it down to the pink base color, a few stray ends needed to be trimmed. I tested how the hat would fit over the raffia, and I was ready to trim it. Or did did it need to be cut? The irregular casual sprig added a little humor to the piece so I let chance dictate the final outcome.
Where the Sidewalk Ends is a story about a melting ice cream cone. In making the mask, the crisscross sugar cone was the base with a concealed nose hole right in the center. The blue shade stands for blueberry ice cream, the red is strawberry, the purple is grape ice cream, and rose color is for cherry ice cream. The tricky part was making the eye slits, and I used cellophane on the back of the mask. How many trips to the art and craft store did it take to find cellophane…look back by the gift wrap!