Caroline discovered the art of leather mask making in 1999 and enthusiastically embraced the medium with some guidance from master leather artist Fred Eisen of Bucks County, PA. Allowing each mask to express itself as it is created is one of her favorite parts of the process, enjoying the organic and sculptural qualities of molding leather. Caroline’s masks are made entirely and individually by hand, using a face form only for the molding of the nose area. The past few years have seen the addition of different types of animals to her mask inventory, and she has more planned for the future.
Jan Guthrie/Bluebird Leather
Jan has been making her own costumes since she was a child and still never misses an opportunity to costume up. She has a dregree in Fine Arts/Textiles and in Apparel Production and has been focused on making leather motorcycle vests for the past few years. She is inspired by tattoos, graffiti and Day of the Dead images. Jan has recently changed her attention to creating Sugar Skulls and has created some incredible Dios de la Muertos masks.
David is an avid sculptor and professional mask-maker. His masks have been featured on stage and film productions all over the globe. A resident instructor at the Children’s Theatre of Western Springs since 1992, David won a Legacy Award in 1997 for excellence in teaching and was honored with the 2009 Award of Excellence for Creative Dramatics by the Illinois Theatre Association. Besides teaching workshops in mask-making and mask-acting around the globe, he also contributes his considerable skills as an actor and director in the Chicagoland area as well.
This New Orleans artist is self-described as a “crippled, crotchety, Chichasaw Creole who needs money for new shoes for 15 grandchildren.” Paul uses his artistic abilities to create breathtaking leather masks that give the wearer the ability to reveal ones “true self.”
Vaughn Avery is a world touring mime and circus arts performer who has duel residency in Haines, Alaska and New Orleans, LA. He began his study of Mask making in 1977 and continued his studies of mask making while touring Japan observing the Leather Garden and Pond work. He then furthered his skills touring Europe and studied the art of mask designs while in Italy. His leather creations are made in the 14th-17th century style of leather molding but are his own designs using modern paints. These masks are flexible enough to shape to your bone structure yet sturdy enough to last for another generation!
She fell into mask making unintentionally after being laid off from the semiconductor industry. A friend loaned her a mask to try to duplicate. It was a fun challenge and she discovered a new creative outlet. Her masks have universal appeal. There is a beauty in their simplicity and they have a clean sleek mysterious elegance. From half masks to full-face masks, all of the masks are made from premium quality leather for excellence in appearance, durability, and are molded to a plaster head for maximum comfort.
Jeanne the Maskmaker
These masks are made through a process of her own creation. Instead of coming up with a design, making a mold of that design, and then casting several masks from the mold, she does almost the opposite. The only mod used is a mold of a human face or a wig head used on the inside, which is then sculpted into the design in her head. Each mask is sculpted by hand, even those in a numbered series, making each mask unique, with its own personality and character.
Masks by Kai
His unique creations, called Kai Masks, are reminiscent of fairy tale daydreams & unforgettable nightmares. Each mask is handcrafted, titled and guaranteed one-of-a-kind. Hide behind a Kai Mask and enter the dimension called fantasy.
Connie Trapp - Masks & Things
She is an Oregon artist, wife, mother and grandmother. She has been making masks for the last 11 years with her sister-in-law, master mask-maker Diane Trapp. She has traveled to New Orleans to sell her masks at the Mardi Gras Mask Market for the last 13 years.
Diane Trapp - Illusionary Designs
Her art is the exploration of emotion. It’s movement combined with character and cultural imagery to create pieces that have an immediate emotional impact on the viewer. She has been creating masks since the late 70’s. Primarily wearable work for stage productions and Mardi Gras. Feathers, beads, rhinestones combined with fancy fabrics creating an illusionary fantasy.
Catherine was encouraged to start drawing by her mother at an early age. Her family has a long history of art, dating back 3 genertions, where her Grandmother and Great Grandmother were painters for Wedgewood. By the age of 16, Catherine had already had a touring solo show in Galleries across Ontario Canada. In 2002, she started an art based company called DeMasque Productions, Ltd.that specializes in leather masks and other leather niche items. Catherine is also a published fantasy novelist writing under the pen name Catherine DeMasque.
Monica Roxburgh - Goblin Art
Born in New Zealand, she moved to the United States in 1987 and currently lives in Portland, Oregon. Since 1996 she has created and sold more than 4000 masks, but she loves creating visual art in many mediums.
His brass mask jewelry started out as a fluke with the first pieces being made in 1985. Each piece is hand cut from brass, burned around the edges with a torch, then decorated, signed and dated. It is then coated with a lacquer finish so they will not discolor.
Rosemary Kimble - EnRapturing ReVisions
Rosemary has been creating couture costume pieces since 1996. Her masks are inspired by the world of fantasy and have been called whimsical, imaginative and elegant. Her work has been on the cover of Where Magazines’ Mardi Gras Edition, as well as many other publications and she has been featured on HGTV's Crafters Coast to Coast. She is also a seasoned Body Artist
specializing in Henna Tattoos and Face and Body Painting, and some of her masks include hand painted details similar to her work with henna. Rosemary spends much of the year traveling throughout the US, working at festivals with her art, but you can always find her in New Orleans, on Mardi Gras day.
Amy is a northwest artist who specializes in whimsical, elegant fantasy masks. Each is hand made with great attention to detail and construction, making them as comfortable to wear as they are enjoyable to look at. They are formed over a wire rimmed, vinyl base that stays slightly flexible around the edges, allowing them to fit a wide range of face shapes. They are then decorated with fabric, feathers and floral leaves. Eyes, noses and beaks are made of a light-weight, air drying model material, then sealed with paper-mache, acrylics and polyurethane. These masks are intended for costume use and have a soft fabric liner for comfort but also have wall hanging display hooks.
Originals by Alice
Alice Thibeault is a freelance artist located in Southeast Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education. Her many endeavors include portrait painting, sign painting, logo development, murals, theatre props, and for the past 16 years has been designing and creating costumes for Krewes in Southeast Texas. All of her works are unique and one of a kind. Using Swarovski crystals, rhinestones, specialty feathers and beautiful trims, she creates designs that are as unique as the person who wears them.
Gwen Jones is “The Umbrella Lady” of New Orleans. She has over 15 years of experience designing and creating Mardi Gras Costumes and Harnesses for Carnival Krewes and their Mardi Gras Tableaux (Balls) in and around the New Orleans area. Simply stated she understands the importance of BLING! She creates beautiful embellished Umbrellas and masks that are unique and one-of-a-kind for birthdays to Weddings and everything in between.
Artist Beverly Boulet, internationally collected mask maker since 1980, has had her work featured in many media arenas, including Vanna White on the “Wheel of Fortune” and her leather, feather and raffia mask worn by Aerosmith vocalist Steven Tyler during the 1994 Grammy Awards. More recently, she created a rhinestone encrusted gas mask dripping with ostrich feathers for the cover of CBRNe World Magazine and featured at their convention in Brazil in October 2012 that will be auctioned for charity.
Isaac is best known for his award winning costumes and his astounding leather mask creations. He first designs a pattern, cuts it from one piece of leather and painstakingly bends and folds it, almost like origami, and then completes each piece with an airbrushed paint or stain finish. Isaac has also created a leather mask for the CBRNe World Magazine and convention. His leather mask depicts a skull, miasmic cloud and several rodents, which was featured on the cover and will be auctioned at the convention.
Puppeteer, mask maker and performance artist Gabriel Q has baffled audiences since the 5th grade when he discovered the power of drag and improv during show and tell. Whether turning himself into a drooling baby in a stilt walking high chair or launching 6 enormous butterfly puppets in a Mardi Gras parade, this Vermont resident delights in parading his cabin fever for the entertainment of others. His masks are made using the traditional Venetian papier-mache technique and treatments inclue painted, gold leaf, silver leaf and copper leaf, laquer, distressed and crackled finishes.
Erik's Inspiration began as an artistic outlet by Erik Attia's passion for nature, science and the art of the masquerade. Working in a studio in Bogota, New Jersey, Erik's masks are created using age-old papier-mache techniques. Each mask is hand painted and/or airbrushed and embellished with a variety of fine trims, natural gems and genuine Austrian crystals. Masks are created with a variety of materials including natural and dyed feathers, hand-made paper wings or lightweight horns. Deriving influence from nature and fantasy, each mask is a unique piece of wearable art. Erik's works have been sold internationally and his clientele includes the world renowed Cirque du Soleil.
Semmerling & Schaefer Mask Studios
Jaff Semmerling was one of three partners with Reverend Mike Stark in his original mask shop on Decatur St. back in 1982. Sonja Schaeffer and Jeff formed their partnership in 1986 which brought together the experiences of theatre, art, leather craft and fashion design, making 2011 their 25th anniversary. Since then, they have developed techniques and explored materials that have honed their craftmanship. The time and craftsmanship put toward comfort make their masks some of the "finest, most comfortable handmade masks anywhere" They hand sand the inside of their leather masks and seal them with acrylic for all day comfortable wear.
Masks by Jen/Jennifer Harrison
She has been making leather masks since 1997 when she saw one at the Rennaissance Faire. Jen is self taught and always learning something new. Her masks range from elegant to creepy to just down-right weird. She applies classical artist techniques and painting styles, shaping and tooling each mask by hand. Black undercoat is applied to both inside and outside and then decorated wih acrylic paints and sealed with shellac.