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Making a carnival mask

January 13, 2014
Mask with flare

Mask with flare

I was asked to make a mask for Newcastle’s Winter Carnival 2013. The producers, Walk the Plank wanted to add a bit of menace to festivities.

My design was inspired by the cloven-hoofed characters that make up the Krampus Festival. According to Austrian folklore, while the generous Saint hands out gifts to the good, he leaves the task of punishing bad children to his hell-bound counterpart, who beats the children then drags them to his fiery underworld.

Scary stuff!

The chosen design was an over sized bird skull with horns.

Below are a few of the stages it went through, it started life as a bike helmet. The beak is a plastic coat hanger and the horns are willow wrapped in foam.

I was lucky enough to get images in a few national papers and online publications:

The Times


The Independent

This regional publication – Chronicle Live – has short video of the carnival, with clips of the mask from 1:30.

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