Making the Oystercatcher Masks

Ruth Webb made these beautiful masks. Her aim was to make the heads look appealing, but not cartoony and realistic, but with character. We think that she achieved the perfect balance. The masks are bright and charming but can also be overpowering at close quarters, perhaps reminding us to respect nature. 

The masks were made by building up layers of plastazote foam sheets and papier-mâché onto the base of a climbing helmet. It was a time consuming business, with several layers of paper and paint. Here’s are some photos of the work in progress.