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Creating Ancient Peruvian Masks with Connie Claymaker

Posted by on April 27, 2015

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

~Pablo Picasso

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We’ve had the privilege of working with Connie Claymaker this year! She came in to teach us how to make ancient Peruvian masks! What follows are our thoughts:

“Woo HOO! Connie’s here I said in my head. We were making Peruvian masks out of clay. The clay smelled like a pine tree! I liked the part when we dragged the skewers on the clay. My lowlight was that we couldn’t paint the mask today. The hardest part was cutting the eyes out. I wonder how hot the kiln is?” ~Mani

“Wow! This clay feels really soft, I said, rolling out the clay that Connie gave us for our masks. We were making Peruvian masks as a project with Connie Claymaker. I like her. She was really fun! I have some highlights! I was having trouble with the mouth, but then Mrs. Renton came along and saved my bacon! She brought along an empty tape roll and she squished it down so it looks just like a perfect mouth! Then, my other highlight was noticing that Connie remembered me! My lowlight was having to retrace the whole thing!” ~Oliver

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“When I got in the classroom, I remembered that we were making masks. Next, I noticed clay and paper plates on desks. I took off my coat and sat on the carpet. After we looked at some photos we started to make the form of the mask. I just got a bunch of pre-made parts and snipped at them. When we were done it was time to work with the clay.” ~Aleah

“Hi! Today we made Peruvian masks! One of my highlights was drawing the mask because it made it stand out. One of my lowlights was making the nose, mouth and eyes. If you want to make a Peruvian mask you will need: a paper plate, news paper, clay, paint. 1. Put the paper plate on the table. 2. Fold newspaper into a mouth or eyes or eyebrows. 3. Flatten the clay until it’s flat. 4. Put the clay gently on the mask. 5. Pat the clay gently until you see the mouth and nose. 6. To be continued!” ~Olivia

“My Peruvian mask, I think, is pretty good. Instead of doing fangs on my mask, I did a tongue and I did pretty much everything different on my mask than on my drawing. It was not an oval either. In my picture it is an oval.. My mask is going to be see-through through the mouth and eyes. My highlight is the tongue. It was fun and cool. I also really liked drawing in the clay. My biggest lowlight was doing all the clay on the face all over again. That was a huge royal pain!!!” ~William

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“Connie Claymaker is HERE I thought to myself. This is how we made the masks. Step 1. From a table, there are nose and eye forms and you tape them on. Step 2. Then you make the eyes and mouth and tape it. Step 3. You get clay and roll it with a roller. They once you’re done you place it on your mask. Step 4. You press with your hands softly. Setp 5. After you get a toothpick and design it. My highlight was rolling the clay. My lowlight was taping my eyebrows and nose.” Luisa

“After Connie Claymaker told the directions, we started with the newspaper and the tape. We stuck the rolled news paper on the paper plates. After she explained all the rules about rolling the mask with the rolling pin we formed our own mask with details on it. When it was time for Connie to go well all said thank you! It was really fun making my mask. Next time we will paint our masks.” ~Roxanne

“Wow! Connie Claymaker is here! Connie was here to help us make ancient Peruvian masks! First, we sat on the carpet and listened to Connie talk about shapes, folds and taping. First, I folded a piece of paper 7 times, then bent it into a mouth shape and taped it onto a plate. Connie had made eyes, noses, eyebrows and mouths so I chose to do the mouth and use Connie’s eyes, noses and eyebrows. After I taped those on I got a blog of clay and started to roll with a rolling pin. When the clay was the size I needed, (the size of the plate), I put it on top of the plate and pushed it down with my hand. Then I cut the eyes and mouth out with a knife. Instantly I started designing my mask. My favourite highlight was when we rolled the clay. I hope I get to do this next year!” ~Riley

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“Today we worked with Connie Claymaker on our masks. I’m very excited to do our masks. My highlight about making masks is when we roll the clay with our rolling pin. My lowlight was when I decorated it because I kind of cut it. I would NEVER forget that day!” ~Bryan

“Riinnnngg! The bell rang as I walked into the class. I remembered we were making Peruvian masks today I said to myself. I couldn’t wait to make my Peruvian mask because they look so fun and they were fun. First we had to make all the eyes and noses and mouths and eyebrows and tape all of them onto a paper plate. But it was really easy for me and some of my other classmates to do because we had things already done. Then we started working with clay. We rolled it. We shaped it. We designed it. It was really fun. I think my favourite part was the clay. I can’t wait to paint the mask. Oh ya. Thanks for reading!” ~Robert

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“My highlight is when we carved our designs on the Peruvian masks. My lowlight is that I couldn’t find the eye holes that I wanted to carve out. The hardest part for me was getting the eye shape I wanted for my Peruvian mask. What my wonder is that I wonder when after the masks are in the kiln why they are smooth.” ~Faith

“When I walked in the classroom, Connie was standing in the back of the class. First we made the eyes and then the nose and then the mouth. And, then we rolled clay into an oval. Then you put it on the plate.” ~Thomas

“My favourite part of working with Connie Claymaker was when I smoothed the clay down. My second favourite part was when I carved out the mouth and eyes. The hardest part was when I had to tape all the stuff down. The easiest part was when I cut out the mouth and eyes.” Adam

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“My highlight was sculpting the tongue to stick out and my lowlight was scraping the clay off my DESK! Anyway, the easiest part was rolling the clay and the hardest part was drawing with the skewer.” ~Liam

“Yay! Connie Claymaker is here. She helped us make our clay butterflies in Grade Two. Now we get to make something even better: Peruvian masks! My highlight was drawing decorations and it was the hardest part. My lowlight was rolling the clay because the clay stuck to my desk. I did not use eyebrows though. Other people had eyebrows and it looks a bit better than without. I regret not having eyebrows.” ~Colby

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“Wow! Connie was SO fun! The best part was designing. I wonder how Connie cooks it. It was so fun working with Connie. I can not  wait to paint the masks. The hard part was to roll the clay.” ~Prayers

“Highlights: I loved doing the designing with the skewers on the mask. It was SO beautiful, not to brag, though! Lowlights: it was hard to make a circle out of the clay. I don’t know why but I could not make a circle for some reason.” ~Sofie

“As I walked in the classroom I saw Connie talking to my friends! I was so excited to do the clay. My first lowlight was rolling because it kept sticking on my desk so I did it on my second time. This time it broke in half so my third time Connie helped me AND IT WORKED! Then I did the details and finished!” ~Alvin

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“Connie Claymaker is here? I said as I walked in the classroom. Then I realized that today WAS the day! As we were starting to make our Peruvian masks we folded paper like a THOUSAND times. Then, we taped three or four times. We folded and made the paper like eyes. We did this to make all the parts. My favourite part was when we rolled and shaped the clay. It was hard folding the paper but it worked out GREAT! I wonder what Peruvian masks were used for?” ~Marcus

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Thanks to Connie, we’ve had a WONDERFUL time exploring building and making structures with clay! Our masks are now FULLY complete … we hope you enjoy the slide show of our FINISHED masks!

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As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life.

~John Lubbock

We wonder:

  • Where did the ancient Peruvians get the colours to paint their masks?
  • Where did the clay come from?
  • Did they use the masks for a special purpose?

4 Responses to Creating Ancient Peruvian Masks with Connie Claymaker

  1. Stacie

    Such great artists! Whenever I see pictures of your class working on a project, everyone is so focused, working hard, and having fun! I can’t wait to see the finished masks!

    • The Blogging Hawks

      Hey Stacie!

      We really appreciate the awesome comments you leave for us after almost every blog post! We think YOU are AWESOME! Thank you for ALL the compliments in your comment! It makes us REALLY proud to know that you can see how focused and hard working we were. Working with Connie was an AMAZING experience!

      The Blogging Hawks 😉

  2. Mehdi

    Beautiful masks 🙂 specially paintings on the masks, showing how they got inspired by the ancient masks

    – mehdi

    • Riley

      Hi Mehdi

      Thank you for the complement. Did you know that all Incan masks have gold in them. We are proud of our masks. It was amazing to work with Connie.

      Riley (of the behalf of the Blogging Hawks)

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