African Masks

African Masks

1 BuildingAs an art teacher, I always keep an eye out for ideas for the classroom. I have just returned from my holidays in Prague. Here are some pictures of some really nice African masks made from terracotta clay that I saw displayed in the window of a school called ‘Základní škola u svatého Štepána’ which translates to ‘Elementary school at St. Stephen’s’.

2 students making african masks 3 cermic african masks skola stephanska
The masks were made by the ‘školního klubu Keramická dílna’ which translates to ‘school ceramic workshop club’ by students from 4th class (age 9-10). I see from their school website that they have some photos showing the students making these masks. It appears that they rolled out slaps of clay and rolled newspaper into a face shape to support the clay at the back. The surface was then decorated with relief pieces, textures and earth coloured slips.

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I love the contrast in colour between the terracotta clay and the coloured slips applied to decorate the masks. This would be a great 1st year ceramic project that could be incorporated into portrait drawing to make it a bit more advanced for the age group.

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