Adding mesh to eyes

I started by tracing the size of the eye with newspaper.

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I used these as pattern pieces so i could sew the doubled over mesh from the tent door to the right size ready to cut out.

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I used velcro from the tent doors as well.

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I glued one side to the inside of the mask

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and stitched the other side to the mesh.

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Making wig for full body mask

To add to the movement of the piece as well as help blur the lines between mask and puppeteer I decided to make a wig.

I decided to test some of the pieces of netting fabric to see if i could make them curled for the hair. I did this first by wrapping them tightly around a wooden spoon and submerging it in boiling water for 5 mins

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This worked well but the curls were very small and the process was time consuming so I thought if i could roll and boil each strand at the same time it would be better.

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so i tried rolling them and pinning them in place

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But they didnt work so i tried making rollers from chicken wire to make them tight.

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This worked but for some reason the curls were very delicate and i was worried that with all the movement of the mask the curls would drop anyway.

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So i decided that curling all the hair was not worth my time and that having straight strand would be just as effective.

So I started by making a cap to the shape of the head from tent fabric using darts to make hug the form.

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I cut the excess of the base fabric to make the edges fringed. I then started sewing layers of scrap netting I salvaged from textiles’ scrap bin to the cap.

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The strips of selve edge netting scraps were very long so to make it quicker and easier than sewing each strand on individually I strung them together to make strips of loops to sew on in layers.

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I made a timelapse video of the process and put it on my instagram account:

Once the mask was complete I drilled 3 pairs of holes in to the head and sewed a piece of wool in those place on the wig for it to be tied to the head.

Making eye mechanisms

Once I had scrimmed the surface completely I started testing ways to make pendulum eye mechanisms. I found some old springs and a big bundle of wire while on a walk around Cardiff So I started out experimenting with these. In this first design I wanted to use the spring as a dock attached to the inside of  mask to then put the pin in when needed.

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<—– pin at the top to move side to side

<—— spring acts as doc to hold pin in place onto inside of mask

<—- anchor to attach elastic band too to keep tension on pin.


My aim was to make the eye mechanism detachable, to make the mask as easy to transport as possible but the spring was too narrow to fit a looped wire through that would have an elastic band attached.

I decided having the mechanism be sturdy with solid and clear movement was more important than making it detachable so I tried a new design using the same pin with a cage to stop the pin falling too far. The tape would be where the wire would be paper mached inside the mask.


This basic design was write now I just needed to perfect the dimensions for the optimum motion. The pin didn’t have enough momentum so i made it longer the loop at the top would be to attach the eye to.

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I added a piece of card to this design to see how it would move with the eye attached.


It worked well but i felt needed a lot of force behind it to move the way it needed which was fine when operated on a small scale moving my wrist, but on a large scale this movement would translate to be far more drastic and i want the it to be almost effortless for the wearer. To tackle this I taped a penny to eye loop to counter weight it.

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I also changed the wire to loop all the way around the pendulum to make extra sure it would stay in place.

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I was really happy with this design, it takes very little effort to operate and the movement is smooth and constant. The overall design is idea is honed now but the whole mechanism is too big to fit inside the mask. Some I remade it but shorter and wider to fit the space by making a different type of anchor to paper mache into the mask.

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I especially love this design because after making it I realised it looks like a strange face itself… masks within masks?

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Once the mechanism was complete I made another to fit the other eye. After this I started making the eye itself, by paper macheing the wire loop and penny to a piece of cardboard.

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Once I was happy with their shape and size I covered them pink and purple tent fabric to colour / weather proof them.

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Here are the finished eye mechanisms before installing. To make them extra smooth and secure I glued a circle of fabric over each side and on the flat side I glued a grey circle of fabric for the pupil.

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Once these were finished and drying I paper mached the 2 pieces of cardboard they were taped on before to the inside of the mask and let this dry overnight to give them a solid foundation to be attached too.  Here they are once paper mached into place.

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Turns out it works well as a jack-o-lantern as well! I just put it there as it was convenient and the lamp underneath really brought it to life! If I put lights inside it could open up the possibilities for night time performances possibly?




Finishing small masks collection

To Finish the other 2 masks I painted them with acrylic paint to show what they would look like once scrimmed. I started off paining them white then with colour. I also made a timelaspe and put it with pictures for my instagram:

Here are the final images:

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Shambala festival application

I will be applying for the carnival workshop which is a large processional parade event during the course of the festival.


The theme of this years carnival procession is GAME ON! I have tailored my performance to this specification, making the heads into a recycling game! The mouths will be a moving target for people to throw rubbish into that will be eaten by these giant heads. The aim is to encourage a green conscience on the audience through a surreal whimsical performance. To help aid this green ethic I am designing a workshop to go along with my large scale up-cycled masks where anyone can learn how to make their own mask out of rubbish. Here is the application:

(word press corrupted my images and i didnt save these screenshots of the application so i cant put them back like ive done with the rest of my pictures, but i promise i did apply i really wanted to go)

Description of performance and workshop in full:

Anonymity is a curious thing, with a dazzling effect. We don a mask and become invincible. We cover our face but naturally compensate with exaggerated gestures communicating meaning through movement and imagery. It is my aim to utilise this transformative quality of the mask to encourage reflection upon one’s own ecological impact by turning an individual’s rubbish into their new Eco Identity! The workshop will inspire people to start valuing rubbish as an untapped resource we waste everyday. Each individual will leave with an up-cycled mask, the skills to make many more and a new outlook on their own ecological footprint. 

I have designed a walkabout performance to accompany the workshop, centred around 3 full body masks made from recycled materials. The performance engages audiences and promotes a green conscience by inviting them to collect rubbish and feed the surreal characters by throwing it into their chattering mouths. Each mask is designed so the movement of the puppeteer opens and closes to mouths of the masks, making them whimsical moving targets and turning collecting rubbish into an interactive game! Each large scale mask is made from recycled paper mache and discarded tents collected from festival campsites. The large masks will hopefully inspire the participants and serve as an example of the potential creativity that can come from working with waste materials. Once all participants are wearing their eco footprint on their face the three large scale masks will lead their new offspring through the carnival and spread the message of sustainability to the people.

The description says notify them of upcoming performances they could use as reference. My performance had already been confirmed with one of my previous contacts for Big Love Festival ( which is before Shambala, my hope was tat this would put me in good standing to get accepted. However Biglove has since been cancelled due to the Covid-19 lockdown. So to aid my application for Shambala I have filmed a tutorial of what would be covered in the workshop. I will release the tutorial with my final videos to make my once physically interactive performance interact with the public by providing a creative activity that can be easily achieved in lockdown with limited supplies.

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To make this video I used a time lapse app and power director app.




Change of plan mask 3

I decided to use cling film this time to wrap the mould as the foil stuck in a few places on the happy mask.

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Base layer:

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Blocking out features:

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Finished sculpt:

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The tounge would be best made from fabric so it has movement. but im also considering leving it without to make it seem more like a confused face.

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Moving mouth piece:


Change of plan mask 2

Started the happy mask yesterday in the same way on the plaster mould, here is my progress.

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Here it is off the mould:

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I then went over the raw edges to make it comfortable to wear

I then cut the jaw off and taped it back in place on the mould, ready to attach the rubber to the jaw.

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Now the form is complete I began preparing the head band cuts so I can scrim around them.

I left my iron in university so i am ironing the fabric with my hair straighteners.

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I then started making the eyes. I wasn’t sure what would look best and how best to attach them so I made them separately first. I put news paper over the mask and did a rubbing of the shape of the eye to use as a pattern. I cut the eye out in fabric and layered it over 4 layers of the mesh fabric from the door of the tent.

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I then sewed the yellow fabric to the mesh and added a pupil.

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I cut it out and did the same to the other eye.

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Once this was prepared I did a small scrim test on the back of the mask with the coloured tent fabric. I realised you could see the newsprint through the fabric once it had dried so I did another test where I painted white to cover it before scriming.

I worked well and didn’t smudge onto the fabric like i worried it would so I painted the whole mask white.

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Then I began scriming with my design as reference.

Here is a TikTok I made of me making applying the fabric.

I thought tiktock might be useful as i wanted to make video content and its all the rage at the moment but this proved more difficult than editing together something similar would be and I didnt like the app and how it was set up so after a few tests I gave up on the app and decided just to stick to editing my own videos and creating my own effects in power director.

Lastly i sewed the head band to the mask and scrimmed the inside to finish.

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I am really really happy with how the mask turned out. I had planned to add stitching between the colour patches but it looks really sleek as it is so im going to leave it how it is. I like the carnival / circus feel to it which is exstremele fitting to the context of the performance and materials so I think stiches could take away from these design influences.

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I tried putting the eye in the mask but it was so expressive with out i didnt want to take away from this and so im leaving it with out them.




Scrim design tests

I have learnt that drawing is not a big strength of mine I use sketches as personal notes rather than elegant designs. I tend to think in 3D so to realise the design of the masks I used clay to plan the form. Now I want to plan out the surface design of the masks. To do this I edited the contrast of the photos of my clay sculptures to be able to trace them through paper.

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Now that I have accurate sketches I am going to split up different sections of the faces to make them have a patchwork effect once scrimmed with different colour fabrics from different tents.

I didnt have any tracing paper to make a pattern of the sections and lockdown means i cant go out and buy any so I have been thinking creatively about what i could use instead. I decided to use a clear piece of plastic packaging to trace my design out, as well as tackling the corona constraints its also one small effort towards a more sustainable practice!

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I cut out the sections of each face in specific colour schemes for each from the selection of tents I collected.

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I played around with the shapes once cut out. The shapes had an interesting surreal and abstract effect when moved apart. The face remains but small changes in placement effect the character greatly which I found interesting.

After having my fun I started glueing them in place.

Here are the final designs:

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Im really happy with how they turned out I really love the patchwork effect and colour combinations work well. I am considering sewing into the fabric before scriming for the real ones around the edges of each colour to make it seem as tho they are sewn together from different parts. Although is this necessary? the inspiration for this design comes from quite dark dream imagery so would stitching them make them scary? I will do the scrimming on the small happy mask as a design / technique test if im happy with it as just colours i will not sew into them.


Andrea Carr an extremely inspiring designer

“Carr has worked across a broad spectrum of the performing arts, bringing vitality to global ecological and social themes. Her eco-design remit is to repurpose objects, use surplus materials and commit to a closed-loop design process, in which all components are considered in a cyclical manner, with their afterlife as important as their current use. Embracing chance along the way, her work often distils into designs that move between art installations and immersive environments. Her work has been included in the UK representation of the World Stage Design Exhibition, in the Aesthetica Art Prize anthology, and in the ‘Designers Lead’ section of the Society of British Theatre Designers (SBTD) 2019 exhibition at the V&A. ”

Hoax – Stuck

photo from Hoax – Stuck performance that featured in the V+A Staging places exhibition I saw

“The show was part art-installation, part absurdist theatre, and used clowning, rhetoric and soft sculpture to examine our cultural paralysis toward our changing planet.”

I have always felt my work wasn’t best suited to traditional theatre and so is aimed at events. This performance seems to find a ideal balance between experience and theatre performance which is exactly where I feel my work can be placed.

“The design presented a symbiotic relationship between body and environment. The costumes, envisaged as a series of dramaturgical revelations, morphed from unique survival clothing into ambiguous unsettling early life forms that are, in the final instance, consumed by the set.”

Orlando after Virginia Wolf

“Design lead performance project, Orlando after Virginia Woolf, character walks through time and space, Part sculpture / part costume. Environment and body, sculpture and performance.” – I love this cross over between sculpture and costume, something id use to describe my own practice.

Nodus Tollens at Liberty Festival

“The Deaf & Hearing Ensemble present a the premiere of a new performance, an outdoor piece called Nodus Tollens.
A piece of outdoor theatre addressing themes of migration, cultural and physical differences, and social acceptance, by a company of D/deaf and hearing artists. A joyful, playful, experience!”

The costumes have drawn me in, I love the use of materials in ingenious ways! Specifically the goggles made from milk cartons! Everything about the design of this performance has me captivated just by the design.

While doing further research I found that she co-founded EcoStage Pledge with Tanja Beer and Alice Hoult. It is an online initiative to promote sustainability amongst theatre practitioners.


This initiative seems to encompass my values. Harking back to what Fiona Watt said to us in the open table at the V+A defining your core values drives your practice, and sets you on pathways to collaborations with others with similar values. It seems to me joining the Ecostage pledge will help me make a difference with my practice as well as providing me with network opportunities.

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As well network opportunities it has a number of resources one being links to The Center For Sustainable Practice in the Arts. This organisation has many opportunities and grants for successfully sustainable artists which may be useful.




Change of plan mask 1

Due to lockdown I have limited supply of materials so instead of making 3 large scale heads I aim to make as much of one as possible then make smaller maquette of the others. I then realised, as Ive decided to make these interactive short videos it would be perfect to have as much to include in those videos as possible. So I decided to make the paper mache maquette of the heads into wearable masks as well.

I decided to start with the sad face. For my research and development masks I made a plaster cast of my face. I used this as a base to start paper macheing on top of, with a layer of tin foil over the cast to ensure the mask would be able to be removed after.

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I put one layer of paper mache across the face as a base then started to build up the features with scrunched news paper in layers, using the clay model I made as reference:

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I got to a stage I was happy with the sculpt so I let it dry and removed it from the form. I had intended to use fabric to make cartoon eyes but now I see it on the face it has so much expression with the wearers eyes showing.

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Idea: make detachable eyes from fabric to see how it looks before covering eye holes completely. Could also be an effective aspect to feature in the videos. Surrealism is my arching theme so having the character remove its own cartoon style eyes to reveal realistic eyes would be adding to the style.

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I cut around the jaw section and trimmed the excess around the mask.

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I then paper mached over the raw edges.

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To attach the jaw piece back to the mask I used cut strips of old bike inner tubes to make an elasticated jaw.

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I put raw wood glue on the rubber to secure it to the mask, then paper mached over that for extra security, using pegs to secure it as it dried.

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I made a boomerang of the mask at this stage for my instagram to example the movement: