A journal entry from a friend prompted me to think about my beginnings as a mask maker. When I started making masks about 25 years ago (wow!) it was totally on a whim. I was born drawing. My fantasy art, when I was a kid, was pretty standard stuff (dragons, unicorns, things with wings) but I always had a good sense of design and color. I'd been dabbing in leather art...doing tooling on archery bracers and things of that nature. Nothing particularly spectacular or uncommon really but it ~was~ a good thing that I concentrated on tooling and carving first because I perfected my technique in that respect long before the masks happened.
Back then, NO ONE made masks out of heavy leather with detailed tooling. It just wasn't done. Masks of leather were either thick and plain or thin and swirly/curly in the Venetian style. People used molds for the thick masks, and molds press and mar carving. People used their hands shaping the thin leather, but obviously the thin leather wasn't suitabl