PRESKIN – Lace mask gold for carnival, Venetian sexy mask seduction from lace for carnival, party, ball, face, eye, Shades of Gray. Pantalone is Venice’s own, a caricature of a typical Venetian merchant of the mid-1500’s. Venetian masks can be made of leather, porcelain or using the original glass technique. Italian Venetian Ceramic Carnival Mask Wall blue bronze gold & black venetian masquerade carnival party … The simplest equation is this: He can make a papier-mache’ mask in a few hours, but it takes two days to create one of leather. You prefer feathers, velvet, and beads? Venetian Mask-makers use a variety of materials and techniques for decoration of their glorious masks. The effect on mask-makers is obvious. Some 30 years ago she followed a high-school classmate to Venice from her home in Cogollo del Cengio, a small town (or large village) west of Vicenza. Clay, papier-mache’, plaster of Paris, and gauze were suddenly in demand, not to mention all the elements needed – paint, beads, brocade – to decorate ever more lavish versions. Everything after that are just toys.”. Acrylic paints, gold and silver leaf, macrame lace, beads, glitter, precious fabrics, feathers, real music sheet, Tarot cards, metal ornaments, Swarovski crystal … Genuine hand-made Venetian masks made by the mask-makers or mascherari are steeped in history & can be made in leather or with the original papier-mâché* technique. Unsubscribe at any time. But you’d have trouble selling a postcard of that. No men dressing as women because men (including clergy) were disguising themselves and sneaking into the convents to debauch the holy sisters. Early Venetian mascareri used a variety of materials, from waxed cloth to canvas, velvet, lace, leather, and papier-mâché. Mar 3, 2018 - Explore Tania Panui's board "Venetian Costumes" on Pinterest. The mascarer presses wet paper pulp over the clay form, then leaves it to air-dry. This man is getting into the spirit with a classic mask of the “Zanni,” who was the categorical cunning, buffoonish servant in the Commedia dell’Arte. It has a defined shape, but not as rigid as plastics. “Leather is more noble. To watch Carlo make a traditional leather mask, visit the photo gallery in our sidebar column. But one day not long ago she looked into a box of plain white plastic masks that she’d been planning to decorate, didn’t like them, and began to cut one up. In this photograph he has already wet the leather slightly to make it more malleable, and has just begun the process of pressing the leather to the wooden form, anchored by small brass nails. It’s Bring-Frivolity-to-Work Day. No wonder tourists came. I’m the only person in the world who has this!”, The first time you pretended you were something other than your own wonderful self, you probably imitated an animal. “When you put on the mask,” one woman told me, “you throw out all the ballast.”. “Nobody wants the opaque or semi-opaque effect,” says Mario. I am an art historian writing about everything from Venetian gondolas to Limoges porcelain, Chinese silk, and cowboy boots. They thought this was so hilarious that before long hundreds of peddlers were selling these eggs to be launched at friends, enemies, the girl who jilted you, the man to whom you owed money, or total strangers. This moment was unadulterated Essence of Carnival, and it wasn’t in the Piazza San Marco but far away in the smaller Campo S. Barnaba. “Whether you are doing well or doing badly, Carnival cheers you up.” While the artistic creations have become increasingly more stunning, they also blocked everyone’s view of the simple acts of fantasy and whimsy of artisanal mask-makers. Pulcinella: Black mask, slightly hooked nose, white shirt and trousers. And so – this being Venice, whose motto might well be “You want it? I love to hear your stories! Beginning in 1271 (25 years before Carnival was declared a holiday), documents mention a school that taught mask-making, and the techniques, tools, and materials used in making them. Only the mask is expressive – it identifies the character, and each character represents a mood (mockery, bragging, gaiety, confusion), and therefore it must never vary. If costs are high, and customers’ budgets are low, how do mask-makers stay in business? Venice's Carnival began in the 11th Century - the original masks were rather simple in design and decoration & often had a symbolic and practical function. Girls like either the little mouse, or the cat, or “more the princess sort of thing.”, And now for the hyper-modern. I love Venice masks their so beautiful, I’m from the UK too. Katia Amore | ... Today's "mascareri" are true artists who create their masterpieces using various techniques and materials. Traditions, they’re like cultural seatbelts. Masks not only hid who you were, but what you were – class distinctions disappeared, to the great relief of everyone. I have been researching the history and making of Venetian masks. resting on the face is soft, light and pleasant to wear. felt like mugging, molesting, or murdering. Carnival revelers pretend to be something other than they are, but Venice doesn’t have to pretend anything. This mass of people may look like insanity unchained, but the visitors are unmanageable only in their numbers, not their behavior. He put on his bauta, with mask, after the show and went around the cafes to hear what people really thought of his latest masterpiece. One could avoid the black hole of Carnival simply by avoiding the Piazza San Marco, but if you need to go somewhere on a vaporetto (waterbus), you’ll find yourself facing the same crowds afloat, with even less room. Working with plastic also seemed like a great way to keep prices down. The only things missing were masks, but not for long. The first decree appeared in 1268: No throwing eggs filled with rosewater at people. But no place has taken these toys for grown-ups to greater extremes, both elegant and diabolical, than Venice. For the past 35 years Carlo Setti has been designing, making, and selling masks in one small room on a narrow but very busy street, the “Frezzeria,” only a few minutes from the Piazza San Marco. And he walks in a slightly bent-over, decrepit sort of way. Venetians of yore would have been dumbfounded by how sedate most of these revelers are, compared to the madness in the old days. Francesca Cecamore did the same, but differently. Today, the last Sunday of Carnival – the peakest of the peak days – can draw as many visitors to Venice as once lived here: roughly 150,000. Married women going to the theatre were forbidden not to wear masks, “to protect their honor.” No masks in the casino — your creditors need to know who you are. Ca’ Macana has slowly broadened its scope – selling online, for example, or furnishing masks for films and shows. Copyright 2021 Laura Morelli | All Rights Reserved |. The characters in these comedies were standard and their costumes and masks likewise. Elderly, avaricious, gullible, lecherous, he is a simple soul whose suspicions make him easy to trick. By 1789 Carnival had traced such a dazzling trajectory through Venetian life that when doge Paolo Renier died on February 13, the news was kept secret until March 2 so as not to ruin the party. The centerpiece is Mario’s unsellable snail-on-head helmet, which he says was a self-portrait. This Zanni mask, which Mario made in papier-mache’, reproduces the facial ridges that would occur with leather. Thank you, Sarah! Adults look for their favorite animal, either their talisman or something related to their family name. Today, a few mask makers craft masks using leather, glass, and even ceramic. Venetian Masks are worn during the Carnival of Venice in Italy, which celebrates the start of Spring with street parades and parties. Everyone knows that in Venice masks are a famous part of the city's history and culture, and it is widely thought that Venetian masks were simply used for the famous Carnival … Facts about Carnival Masks 8: the design of the original masks Most of these tend to sell cheap plastic masks, sometimes credible versions of papier-mache’ but far too perfect to be true at a price no artisan could match. Clay, papier-mache’, plaster of Paris, and gauze were suddenly in … The sheer quantity of masks on sale around the city gives the impression that makers are thriving. He has been many things in his life – drop-out engineering student, puppet-maker, cabaret singer, scene designer, and itinerant actor performing comedies of the Commedia dell’Arte. A tour of the world of Venetian masks, and their starring role in the mega-party called Carnival. I didn’t even know there was an Alexei Tolstoy. All rights reserved. For more on Venetian carnival masks, you might enjoy: 5 Things to Know about Venetian Carnival Masks, Venetian Carnival Masks: The Plague Doctor. “It looks like a stage set.” I said it myself when I first came here and I’ve heard it many times since. What better place to indulge in make-believe than in the most make-believe city there is? Harlequin: Chubby, black half-mask, snub nose, multi-colored checkered suit. Add to this a long black cloak, a length of lace-trimmed black fabric which covered the head and shoulders, and a tricorn hat, and you had an outfit that guaranteed a large degree of anonymity. However, the mask makers adhering most closely to authentic, traditional Venetian carnival mask types work primarily in papier-mâché. None of this surprises Venetians anymore. My kids like them.The shipment tracking was very clear Masks were used to stalk prey and to take custody of the animal’s spirit. The fact that he is making these, though, shows how far masks have come. But he has made his peace with that. On the left, two classic masks turned cyborg, thanks to bits of technological detritus (USB thumb drive, batteries, cords, and so on). –Laura. A few artisans, not thinking about whether Carnival would ever return, had already begun making masks in a small way. Those who are still dedicated to the craft of make-believe on a grand scale adhere, if unconsciously, to Carlo Setti’s recipe: “A little imagination, a little experience, a little bit of chance.”. “The season of Carnival changes the whole world,” wrote Carlo Goldoni, the 18th-century Venetian comic playwright. Next, the mask maker buffs the mask and cuts holes for the eyes and other facial features, if desired. Saying you’ve been somebody’s Zanni means you’ve been exploited. Today, most traditional masks begin with a clay form that may be used to make a plaster cast. It was all playful. Even without the innumerable interruptions, it would not be easy to achieve the expression of “ironic melancholy” he wants, which he is going to name “Venice.”. Radio Vanessa, the local station, had joined forces with the Scuola Grande di San Marco to revive the grand old party. Papier-mache’ masks may be delicate, but they are born from heavy chunks of plaster that have been, in a way, turned inside-out. Whether you’re actually attending the Carnevale di Venezia, or just trying to bring some of its magic to a more everyday masquerade ball, you’re sure to find something of interest in this selection of authentic Venetian masks. As Pulcinella, Carlo suddenly seems to be smiling, but it’s the happy outlines of the mask’s eyes that create that effect; his own expression hasn’t changed at all. During Carnival the great mercantile and political juggernaut that was the Venetian Republic paused, devoting its greatest talents — artistic genius, passion for pleasure, and endless amounts of money – to private diversions and public revelry. This map of Italy’s 20 regions gives the names of the principal Carnival characters in each town on the list. Thus a positive object (the sculpture) is used to create a negative object (the plaster mold) that is used to make a positive object (the mask). If you're making a papier-mache mask, begin by creating a plaster mold and then lightly applying petroleum jelly to prevent the mask and mold from becoming inseparably stuck together. The original masks were rather simple in design, decoration, and often had a symbolic and practical function. To keep our online magazine free of ads, and to avoid charging you for our material, the Craftsmanship Initiative relies on grants, individual donations, and institutional partnerships for our funding. The character of the Zanni developed in various ways, but he remained the epitome of a country bumpkin living by his wits. We’ll sell it” – a craft was born. Masks have evolved along with their wearers; Venetians of centuries ago didn’t wear anything like this ensemble, but they would have admired the total anonymity it provides, and given their passion for luxury and excess, they might well have adored this strange extravagance – “part Rio Carnival, part Folies Bergere,” as one mask-maker put it. (The Venetian young bloods, nicknamed “Mattacini,” or “crazies,” were notorious for hurling “perfumed eggs” at passersby either by hand or from slingshots.) “Arlecchino” is a half-mask with a short, wide nose, arching eyebrows and a bump or a boil on a forehead. He is one of the very few artisans who make masks of leather, a style drawn from another century. It’s a fair question, and the short answer is “Any way they can.” Carnival is high season, of course, so that’s when they sell the most. Because actors tend to sweat, and after a few shows papier-mache’ would be on its way to the boneyard. There aren’t many more than that today, but now there are at least 2,000 points of sale, from little shops specializing in masks to tobacco shops, newsstands, and kiosks. Creating masks is, indeed, an art in Venice, a tradition dating back hundreds of years, making the carnival of Venice truly unique. Marilisa Dal Cason, owner of “L’Arlecchino” near the Rialto market, has found a way to give that much-reviled material (technically, Italian resin) a new reason to live. Venetian Carnival masks. It just is, and you will always look good here. “So I show them the bauta. He didn’t wait for reviews of his latest comedy to come out in the paper. Many cultures have enjoyed the playful freedom one feels after donning a mask. Or they leave the city entirely, which many Venetians have found to be the perfect solution to everything. This toddler obviously isn’t a gondolier – they never throw confetti. Beginning in 1271 (25 years before Carnival was declared a holiday), documents mention a school that taught mask-making, and the techniques, tools, and materials used in making them. “Fat Tuesday” came and went every year, but no one celebrated. A city that was, as one person put it, “the size of a postage stamp,” had become the envy of Europe, and its Carnival then was arguably more famous then than it is today. Erla Zwingle has written for dozens of magazines over the past 30 years, primarily National Geographic, to which she has contributed 25 articles as well as writing its Guide to Venice. Check out my books page for more in-depth information. But rents rise, costs rise, and shops are struggling. San Francisco, CA 94123. In modern times this intrigue has been enhanced by two movies: Fellini's controversial Casanova in 1976 and the more recent Eyes Wide Shut, directedin 1999 by Stanley Kubrick and starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman Nonetheless, the edgy, elemental spirit of the original primordial Carnival still survives in children, usually boys, firing lavish garlands of Silly String at people (today’s version of eggs with rosewater). “I was inside a Rubik’s cube once,” a Venetian woman recalls. Artisans like Francesca work hard to produce what they know tourists want, then must struggle to find time to experiment, try new ideas, surprise themselves. Italian law permits an article to be labeled “handmade” if some percentage of the product has been made by somebody’s hands, somewhere. However, that typical tourist spends an average of only 12 euros ($12.79) per day on souvenirs. Some just stay home, like people do when blizzards strike. FREE Delivery. In essence, the government passed laws to control an event whose only reason for being was that there are no laws. But suddenly Carnival was no more. “It liberates you.”. The mask’s maker often was required to follow specific rituals for protection from this power. “If I wanted money, I’d do something else. Other artisans are following similar paths. Photography by RICCARDO ROITER RIGONI and ERLA ZWINGLE. Prostitutes (there were some 11,000 of them) were forbidden to wear masks. “When you put it on, you see others and yourself with other eyes,” a mask-maker said. Or to put on a disguise or frivolous outfit of some sort, to parade, to frolic, to take pictures of parading and frolicking? Some rapidly produce piles of undecorated masks for merchants who want to paint (and then sell) them. Once dry, the paper will retain the shape of the cast or clay model. What people seem to like best isn’t so much the crackling as the shine. Carnival is arguably one reason why the Venetian Republic lasted for a stunning 1,400 years. Over time, the economic winds have veered. Eventually, Venetian masks re-emerged as the emblem of Carnevale (Venetian Carnival), a pageant and street fair celebrating hedonism. Men who dress like this for Carnival are often would-be priests who didn’t make it through seminary. The only thing more exciting than wearing it would be standing next to it on a crowded vaporetto. It was released as part of an update on 02.28.2014.. Most mask makers have a variety of paintbrushes at their workbenches, using fine brushes for gilding and other details. From shop 4everstore. These characters often take some animal form – wolf, human-bear, human-deer – that dwelt in the terrifying forests and chasms, and bear names in equally ancient dialects. The History of Carnival. 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