Picture of Harlequin Masks

Harlequin Masks

Clay add-ons, clay pressings and ornate detailing transform these masks into stunning displays.


1.  Wipe ware with damp sponge to remove any dust.
2.  Spread out a sheet of wax paper on a working table, place a piece of baseball-sized clay on wax paper. Use wooden rolling pin to roll clay out to about ¼ inch thick. Lay textured fabric on wet clay and press to create texture. Repeat on back of the clay slab.
3.  Use Palette Knife to cut out 5 triangle shapes about 7” long as follows. Cut three pieces about 3 inches wide at the bottom to ½ inch wide at the tip, and two pieces about 2 inches wide at the bottom to ½ inch wide to the tip. Use a toothpick to punch a hole through the tip of each triangle (this will be used to hang the bells at the finishing stage).
4.  Use Patch-A-Tatch with the Oval Mop brush to overlap and attach a small triangle on each side of one large triangle (this forms the top of the jester’s mask). Position the other two triangles below each side of this center piece. Position the Three Quarter Mask over the edges of the triangles and gently press down to create an indentation along the edges of the triangles where the mask will be placed when fired (refer to photo for placement of triangles).
5.  While clay is still damp, gently curve each triangle over the rolling pin to shape and dry in curved shapes. Allow pieces to air dry at least 2 days or until the clay is light grey in color.
6.  Fire triangles to shelf cone 04.
7.  Wipe ware with damp sponge to remove any dust.
8.  Use clay carbon and pencil to trace pattern on each mask.
9.  Squeeze out some Black Licorice on foil. Use Shader and No. 5 Round brushes as needed to pat on Black Licorice to each mask area around eyes. Let dry completely.
10.  Use pencil to lightly sketch swirls on each eye mask.
11. Squeeze out some Neon Blue, Neon Coral and French Kiwi French Dimensions on separate areas of foil. Use Shader and No. 5 Round brushes as needed to layer each color over black basecoat on sections of eye masks (again refer to photo for color placement). Allow black undercoat to show through here and there. Let dry.
12.  Use Fan Glaze, Liner and No. 6 Round brushes as needed to apply 2 coats of Clear Crackles Glaze to unpainted areas (including back) of each mask. Let dry after each coat.
13.  Outline eye mask design and swirls on each mask with French Straw. Let dry completely.
14.  Using No. 10 Round brush, apply 1 coat of Clear Glaze to eye mask design only on each mask (do not apply glaze to Clear Crackle glazed areas). Let dry.
15.  Pour a puddle of Dark Black, Really Red, Bright Delft and Dark Kiwi on separate areas of foil. You’ll use the Antiquing Technique for this step. Working with one piece at a time, use Fan Glaze brush to apply 1 coat of Dark Black to front and back of each triangle, then use damp sponge to wipe away color to expose raised textured areas. Leave in enough color to create an antiqued look. Rinse sponge as needed. Let dry.
16.  Use Fan Glaze brush with 1 coat of each following color to antique specified triangles:
Bright Delft: side triangles surrounding large center triangle
Dark Kiwi: center triangle.
Really Red: remaining two triangles.
Bright Delft: the other two triangles.
Again, gently wipe away color, leaving some color in detailed areas. Let dry.
17.  Use Fan Glaze brush to apply 2 coats of Clear Glaze completely over each triangle. Let dry.
18.  To attach triangles to Three Quarter Mask, squeeze some Pure White French Dimensions on indentations made on triangles in step 4. Place mask in place and press down firmly. Let dry.
19.  Carefully stilt Half Mask and Three Quarter Mask with triangles, as the firing will help the triangles fuse to the mask, then glaze fire to shelf cone 06.
20.  Using the No. 1 Liner reserved for Premium Gold, apply Premium Gold Overglaze over the dimensional French Straw outlining on both masks. Let dry. Clean brush with Essence and save for another use with Premium Gold (mixing brushes with other products may contaminate the gold finish).
21.  Stilt and overglaze fire to shelf cone 019.
22.  Using the Oval Mop brush and working with one small section at a time, apply 1 coat of Black acrylic to each mask, then wipe back color with damp sponge, again antiquing each mask so color sinks into crackles to give masks their heirloom quality.
23.  Thread gold wire through bells and loop through holes along tips of triangles, then twist to hold in place.
24.  Use gold cording with Aleene’s Platinum Bond 7800 All-Purpose Adhesive to apply cording around Three Quarter Mask and triangles. Use tape to keep cording in place while the adhesive dries.

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Posted by iLTC

What you need:


  • Aluminum foil
  • Gold cording (2 yards)
  • 12MM bells
  • Pencil
  • Clay carbon
  • Textured vinyl fabric (for pattern in headdress)
  • Low-fire white earthenware clay
  • Round toothpick
  • Wax paper
  • Sponge
  • Thin gold wire
  • Wooden rolling pin