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The Prop Builder's Mask-making Handbook Paperback – Dec 1990


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Product details

  • Paperback: 203 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books (Dec. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558701664
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558701663
  • Product Dimensions: 28 x 21.6 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 647,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By "trog2004" on 11 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
Thurston James has obviously spent a great deal of time collating information on this subject. Initially I had purchased the book to help me with some personal projects, I am glad to say he has successfully expanded my horizons.
This book isn't just a glorified "how to", it is a history of masks through the ages. From traditional techniques which would appeal to historians through to papier mache classics suitable for the school rooms.
Because of the wealth of information in this book, any mask maker 'stuck' in one media can learn to adapt his/her knowledge to new projects and even out of the realm of mask-making alone.
I particularly enjoyed his commentary on leather masks as used by Cirque de Soleil among other theatrical groups.
If you're a serious theatre fan, or if you work in film or even as a teacher this book opens a wealth of possibilities. Simply gorgeous! This isn't a book, this is an essential tool.
Explanations on techniques are detailed, and handy hints are included to make your life easier. Get out there and get crafting!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jasp13 on 5 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A useful book to have as part of your, How do I make this? reference book collection. Easy to follow step by step instructions which are still used by mask makers, though some materials used in it are now no longer available.
It is a classic reference book for anyone starting out in mask making as a profession though as an out of print book you will find practical mask making information elsewhere without paying a fortune.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By elliethomas on 23 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This fantastic book has some great illustrations and descriptions about various ways to make masks. These methods vary from papier mache through to leather. This is the most professional and helpful book on the market for anyone who wants to make a career in theatre, film, tv etc.

Invest in this book and you'll never regret it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Extremely informative and an excellent addition to the resources of a theatre practitioner filling in gaps in one's knowledge. Both text and illustrations are clear and precise.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Comprehensive and user friendly! 1 April 2000
By Frost - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a great book about making masks. It covers the making of molds, including using alginate for a life-casting. He talks about making masks of different materials -- from hex-a-cel to paper mache to neoprene to leather! There's a really *nice* section on leather masks, and he also talks a little bit about the history of the leather masks and how they were used in Renaissance Italy by the Commedia. This book is filled with plenty of black and white photos illustrating the various steps in each mask-making or mold-making process, and the instructions are very clear. Highly recommended for those with an interest in making their own masks.
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
a good idea 26 Jan. 2003
By michael joy (ChicagoMoldSchool.com) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am confused...I look at the star ratings and read the reviews...but they don't even come close to my thoughts. This book was an interesting read. They do show a huge variety of techniques that are used for the stage... but they only give you a small taste of the process...Vacuum forming for example, a wonderful process, but zippo info on whereto/howto/whoto contact to buy or to make one. Read this book to get an overview of some ideas...but know that the technology shown is old and past its prime. I know stagework is seen at a distance..but you will not be impressed with the craftsmanship of the projects. Heads up on some safety issues..they skip right over that. oh my.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Sound but slightly dated 14 July 2005
By Laura R - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book as a text for a maskmaking class for my theater degree. I'll repeat the instructor's gist, if not her words: This is a great book on the basic technical aspects of maskmaking. However, there are a lot of other materials that are now available if you have the budget that aren't covered in this book. The photos are good but not always clear, and I agree with some other reviewers that there is a definite lack of practical information such as where to buy maskmaking supplies.

Worth a read, particularly if you're into Commedia masks or working in community theater on a small budget.
Outdated 18 Aug. 2011
By J.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was written for what seems to be primarily leather working as half the book is dedicated to this art form. There is nothing about foam latex or any of the other current methods of making masks. It's seriously dated and not worth the cost unless you want to make leather masks.
Very useful reference. 22 May 2014
By Adalae - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent instruction on a broad range of techniques. Has been an indespensible addition to my workshop library for almost a decade. Highly recommended for any art classroom, prop shop, costume shop, or hobbyist's library.
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