Art Spirit Masks by Ann Light

If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun

Katherine Hepburn

How It's Done

The eyes are hand sewn with artificial sinew and any additions are cut from pieces of a dipper gourd. Then the excitement begins as each mask really starts to develop its personality. I begin to embellish them from a collection of natural materials such as hand-dyed raffia, seagrass, pine needles, jacaranda pods, date palm stalks, coconut fiber, pine cones, nuts, feathers and beads. Often I'll adorn them further with scraps from my collection of antique and ethnic fabric. Finally, I wax and buff the surface to bring out the color and texture. The mask is then carefully finished on the inside and every one contains a native proverb or inspiring message.

Each is one of a kind and my last step is to sign and date the mask.