Wednesday, June 18, 2008

How Venetian Masks came to be

The crowded narrow streets of 13th century Venice provided little or no privacy to those who lived there. In such a small world both paupers and courtesans alike were constantly under the damaging threat of public scrutiny, judgement and repercussion. The wearing of a mask and the freedom and privacy that came with it released the wearer to express themselves freely, to involve themselves in delicate, even illegal and dangerous activities safe in the knowledge that nobody would know who they were. Venetian masks
The art of masquerading became a normal part of everyday Venetian life with special carnivals and festivals planned throughout the year that still drawer visitors from all over the world. The term 'carnevale' literally means 'without meat before Lent' and carnival provided a wonderful opportunity for people from all walks of life to masquerade.

Traditionally Venetian Masks are hand made in a number of different workshops in Venice using the papier mache technique. Wood pulp and resin are used for the less expensive models. The masks are very light and comfortable to wear, yet they are strong and durable. Each mask is custom painted and decorated using a variety of applications and finishes such as silver & gold metal leaf, braid & cord edging, glitter, sheet music paper, best quality feathers and cut glass 'jewels'. All of our masks are designed to be worn in the grand tradition of masquerading but make equally stunning wall decorations.

The masks are all wearable with ribbon ties and some have a loop for hanging if you wish to display the mask on a wall. The best way to hang your mask up on the wall is to tie a loop of strong clear nylon thread, or fishing line, through the eyes and across the bridge of the nose. The best way to clean your mask is to use a soft cloth or feather mop. Feathers can be gently shaken outside to remove any dust. Do not use detergents or chemicals and keep away from sources of heat, humidity and direct sunlight. How Venetian Masks came to be