Video: Making a Masquerade Mask
In this video, David Picciuto creates a fox masquerade mask with veneer using a laser cutter and bent lamination.
This mask will be made with several layers of veneer. Starting off with a layer of walnut topped with a layer of maple, just to give it some thickness and strength. Then, David Picciuto will add a layer of offset walnut to give the edges a border and top it off with some maple accent pieces. When he glues them together, he will use a curved form so when it dries the mask will wrap around the face giving it a bit more dimension.
You can find more great projects and techniques from David Picciuto at his website.
David Picciuto: Hi, I'm David Picciuto, and this week on Make Something, we're going to make this fox masquerade mask out of veneers on a laser cutter.
This mask will be made with several layers of veneer. We'll start off with a layer of walnut topped with a layer of maple, just to give it some thickness and strength. Then I'll add a layer of offset walnut to give the edges a border and top it off with some maple accent pieces. When I glue them together, I'll use this curve form so that when it dries, the mask will wrap around the face giving it a bit more dimension. I drew my mask in Adobe Illustrator. I'll provide the free file on my website that you can open up in Illustrator or Inkscape and play around with it if you like. I'll separate all the elements and send them off to my Full Spectrum hobby laser. The video is in real-time and you can see the laser cuts through the thin veneers pretty quick.
Once I have all the pieces cut, I can begin making my form. I just glued up some scrap two-by-fours together to make this two-inch thick block. I'll then draw a curve on it and cut it out at the bandsaw. I picked up some foam sheets from my local art supply store that I'll line the inside of the form with. The sponginess would ensure even pressure when it comes time to clamp it up. I'll use clear packing tape to attach it which will also prevent the mask from sticking to it if there's any glue squeeze-out. The glue-up will happen in three stages to make sure all our pieces line up correctly. I'll begin by gluing the first two layers together. They are the exact same shape and the purpose of this is just to add a bit of thickness. Once the glue dries, we can take it apart and add the next layer and clamp it up again.
The final stage are these accent pieces that I'm gluing in with CA glue. Since these pieces are much smaller, I'm using the Quick-Set CA glue on the maple and spraying activator on the mask for an instant bond. A few coats of spray lacquer and gluing some ribbons on is all it's left. This is a quick fun project. If you don't have a laser cutter, check with your local library, art museum, or maker space. Here in Toledo, Ohio, we don't have a maker space, but our library does offer public access to their laser cutter and gives classes on how to use them. You don't even need a laser engraver or cutter to make this. You could do this by hand with an X-Acto knife.