Masks have a certain allure. They don’t just hide our faces, they can show something more, allow people to take on new roles. Angela Sasser has felt this allure as well. First, she was just attracted to the imagery and symbology associated with masks, but eventually that interest grew to include making masks themselves.
I’ve always loved masks as symbolic objects in both sculpture and art. I used to create them in my paintings and in clay before I discovered the material of leather thanks to my mask mentor, Merimask. She opened up a whole new world to me of sculpting masks in leather and I was able to extend my love of painting and Art Nouveau design into my mask work.
Angela crafts and paints leather masks and accessories, and documents the process.
Her first video is a tutorial that covers the process she uses when making leather masks. In this video she covers the steps and offers up hard won tips for the more finicky parts of the process (like her advice for cutting out the eye holes at 8:05).
In her other videos, Angela discusses her design process and inspiration, and spends less time explaining the details of each step in the process. Still it’s a fascinating process to see the finished artwork becoming more defined and detailed as she works.
Angela’s most recent videos focus on a series of masks and illustrations that she calls, “The Ladies of the Month”.
My current series of masks draws on the themes of birthstones and birth flowers for each month of the year. I was drawn to these themes thanks to my love of Art Nouveau design, which not only feeds my painting muse, but also extends to crafts, jewelry, and so much more. I wanted to see how I could explore these flower and gem themes not only in a 2D format, but on masks as well. I love a multimedia challenge!
You can see more of her work from this series and others on her website and her YouTube channel.