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Masks In the Making


  • Sketchbook + pencil + eraser + markers and colored pencils for planning stages
  • Reclaimed + repurposed cardboard- thin + thick + corrugated varieties
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie
  • Hot glue + glue gun and/or white glue
  • Pastels- oil + chalk variety

Our Process:

Explore the amazing creations of famous + much loved artist and sculptor Kimmy Cantrell.  Here is his printable bio!  Look + brainstorm at the features that make Cantrell’s work unique, recognizable and his own.  Start sketching!  Above are a few sketches in black + white, and below are a few sketches moving into color.  We included 1 – 12 of our favorite masks created in our workshop, to give you inspiration for creating your very own!  Absolutely LOVE how each mask is so unique to the individual artist!

Explore color using marker and colored pencils to plan a 2-D idea to construct in 3-D!

Once you select the sketch you want to create in 3-D, move into cardboard.  A mixture of thin, thick and corrugated cardboard works best to create variety.  Save cereal boxes and other easy to cut boxes that can easily be broken down and stored.  Group and organize similar cardboard together so the artist can make their selection.  Go BIG!  Determine the overall size of the face.  We used large cereal boxes as they were tall and easy to cut.  Sketch out the shape of the face and cut out.  Move into drawing out the different facial features (on separate pieces of cardboard) using pencil and then finalizing with Sharpie.  Cut out these shapes.  Use layers of cardboard stacked and glued to create a variety of levels of “pop-outs” to add dimension and to create added interest.

A peek at our cardboard selection- thin, thick and various colors and sizes of corrugated.

Use both chalk and oil pastel to add color!  We loved how chalk pastel created this linear pattern on corrugated cardboard.  A simple hole punch was also an exciting detail.  Pastel is a very exciting medium on cardboard!

Layout and arrange the sculpture before gluing down and play with the arrangement.  We used hot glue but you could also use traditional white glue for younger children.

Use additional Sharpie to define shapes, spaces and to add more interest!  Our masks were created with children ages 10 – 14 years old.  Love how each mask was so individualized and unique to the artist!

The final stages!  Loving the upper right corner of this piece filled with layered pattern of corrugated cardboard and cut squares.  Love how this artist went BIG + bold!  Doesn’t this piece have fabulous color and texture!!!  Very “Kimmy Cantrell” inspired, yet so unique and one-of-a-kind!  Her amazing additions and vibrant color scheme sure inspire me!

Lovin’ the corrugated!  We had a huge roll of this fabulous cardboard, but also discovered the inside of a “light bulb box” has fabulous + thinner corrugated cardboard for an additional fine detail!  Start collecting!!!

A peek at the collection!  We absolutely can’t wait to get all these pieces displayed together!  The look pretty amazing as a group but also so pretty fabulous individually!  How amazing it would be to frame one for a home!  Children LOVE when you showcase their work and this is one piece that is full of color, design, pattern, texture, personality and conversation!

Life size!  Wouldn’t these be fabulous to use in a play or parade!  They looked so festive walking around on each artist!  Let us know if you decide to make one of your very own!  What exciting things are you making with cardboard or reclaimed and repurposed supplies?  Would love to hear!

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