class information | masks by ruth eileen dorn

mask decorating class | indiviual masks | testimonials

The Mask Project, taught by Ruth Eileen, encourages creativity through group interaction and exploration. Students make a personal mask by molding plaster gauze over their face and then adding structural elements like wings, headpieces, halos, or horns. The final step is to adorn the mask with an amazing collection of materials including paints, papers, fabrics, buttons, beads and bones. During the class series, mask makers explore their inner qualities through storytelling and guided imagery. The mask reveals, rather than conceals. A creative, spiritual, nurturing and joyful process, the three-dimensional replica of a participant's face becomes a symbol of personal power. The class is based on the principles presented in The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

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Mask Project Class Information
The class series is limited to 12 people and includes personal process and a completion ceremony. Experienced artists are welcome along with people who have never explored their creativity. Men and women, age 18 to 90, are encouraged to join this fun and insightful experience. Classes are usually held on four consecutive Saturdays or Sundays, however, they can be arranged to suit the needs of the group. There are four meetings in all; three in the afternoon from 2-5:30 pm and decorating day is from 1-7 pm. The Mask Project is a committed series with each class building on the next. Attendance at every meeting is essential. Classes are held throughout the year. Contact Ruth Eileen for information about the next series. The Mask Project meets in the Talmadge area at Ruth Eileen's art studio and garden. The cost is $300 and includes all supplies. Contact:

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Masks By Ruth Eileen Dorn

Mask Decorating Class

The decorating class involves using a pre-formed paper mâché mask. It can be a full face mask or structural alterations can be made by Ruth Eileen before the class begins. These changes include a mask split in half horizontally or vertically, and if desired, a stick can be added for holding the half mask. Each additional preparation adds to the cost of the project. The decorating begins by covering the mask with spray paint or acrylic paint. This can be done ahead of time or in class by the student. All the materials for decorating are provided including paper, fabric, fiber, beads, feathers, wire and glue.

The mask decorating class may be tailored for any age group or gathering, and can be held at a location of your choice or in Ruth Eileen's art studio. This activity is perfect for classrooms, retreats, birthday parties and special events. The cost is between $35 and $75 per participant; depending on the style of the mask, the number of students and the amount of decorative items desired. There is a minimum of 6 people required and maximum of 30 students allowed.

Individual Masks

A customized mask may be made for performance artists or anyone who desires one. The mask can be designed to wear or hang on the wall. Ruth Eileen will make the mask by forming plaster gauze around the face of the individual. They are then taught how to reinforce the mask, how to add on to it, decorate and complete it. The work is done in her studio or at the student's home. Anything imagined can be accomplished. The process takes at least two days and the price can range between $150 and $300 depending upon the size and details of the mask. Decorative items to be used on the mask, must be provided by the individual, or purchased from Ruth Eileen's collection of materials. A more elaborate mask making project is negotiable.

A customized, paper mâché, half mask on a stick can be designed and made for you by Ruth Eileen. This can be used for fashion shows, at costume parties or given as gifts. The price is negotiable depending on the specific detail.


Ruth Eileen Dorn's mask making experience pulled me back into my true self. Ruth, along with Sean deHaast, set up an environment to explore, test, challenge and create, all with the warm camaraderie of a willing group of listeners and learners. I began with the canvas of my blank face and finished with a work that amazes me. I don't know where it came from but I do know it offers a glimpse of what is true and beautiful in myself and the world around me. -- Lynda

Soon after completing treatment for breast cancer, I heard of The Mask Project. I was especially interested because I had felt that the traditional support groups I had gone to with other survivors were so one-dimensional. They helped one honestly open and look at the pain and fear, but there didn't seem to be any creative outlet to replace these negative energies. I signed on with Ruth, not knowing what to expect. I was amazed at the inward journey of self-discovery it revealed for me, and the wonderful experience of community it was also. I whole-heartedly recommend The Mask Project to everyone! -- Jackie

I have taken Ruth's mask workshop twice, the second time when I was recovering from cancer treatment. Ruth is a master teacher. In addition to the inner work she facilitated, I got to play with her incredible stash of artsy stuff for decorating the masks. What fun that was! I was so impressed by the range of things Ruth accomplished in designing her workshop: deep self exploration and discovery, creative expression and community building. For me, working with Ruth was a wonderful experience. I recommend it highly. -- Bobbi

Being a performance artist, I wear masks a lot. I wanted a mask of the great god Ganesh, remover of obstacles and bringer of wealth, so I searched the internet and found Ruth Eileen. She made a mask of my face from plaster gauze and taught me how to add on ears and a trunk to make it look like a human elephant. We worked in her studio and collaborated on decorating it. In the past I would purchase masks and now I know how to make my own. Thanks Ruth Eileen!! -- Johnathan

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