Halloween is almost here. I saw my first MeriMask at an event is San Francisco. I ask the wearer where he got it and he gave the Andrea’s Etsy site. I was excited to see her huge selection and was amazed at the detail and craftsmanship of her masks. Andrea has sold over 1500 mask since 2007. Including Katy Perry, Cirque Du Soliel, Four Owls – the UK hip/hop group, “Magicarade” – a Tokyo dance troupe.
Andrea Masse-Tognetti is a self-taught artist living in Tonawanda New York, and has been working exclusively with leather sculpture for over sixteen years. Her leather sculpture has been featured in “Weird Tales” magazine, the Niagara Gazette, “Artvoice” magazine and “J Select” magazine.
This is a re-publication from my old blog.
1. Why masks and why leather?
Leather is just a great medium for sculpting…it’s not messy, you can carve durable details into it, and it’s a natural, renewable resource. The masks were just a logical progression once I learned how malleable the medium was.
2. Which of your designs is favorite and why?
I love so many of my designs…I love all of them really, or else I wouldn’t make them. My favorite right now is the “Fighting Bettas” mask though…I think it’s just a really strong, beautiful design. It’d be great even if it wasn’t a mask.
3. You studied soft sciences and archeology. How did these fields help in your designs?
My studies in Archeology/Anthropology definitely gave me an appreciation for the cultural significance of the mask. Every culture has them…their importance is worldwide and dates back to the earliest pre-history of the human species.
4. Looking through your 50 pages of sold items on ETSY, impressive. I saw a lot of custom orders. You must like the challenge. How do you start a new design?
It helps if the customer has an idea of what they want. Most of my custom orders are just modifications of masks I already do. Sometimes the customer wants something totally new. In those cases, a phone conversation, source images (if it’s an animal of some sort), and a great degree of trust is needed. They have to trust me & my design abilities to come up with something new that they’ll like. So far everyone has been happy. ^_^
6. What is your favorite movie?