Last week we had decided to make a box out of three masks. We cut up a bunch of cardboard prototypes to figure out how we wanted the masks to fit (like using slits or interlocking teeth on the sides). We ultimately decided that the most fool-proof method was to create a base with slots that the masks could slide in and out of. As long as the slots were correctly spaced apart, the masks’ sides would match up and create the appearance of a closed box. Here is a small prototype we made using scrap acrylic. There’s no base yet so the masks are being held together with tape:
We designed the masks in Adobe Illustrator. We decided to use the dimensions of the average male face–7 inches in width and 9 inches long. We also used guidelines to make sure the eyes would end up in the right place. David didn’t choose any particular theme for his mask designs. My design was inspired by Mexican Day of the Dead masks. Here are a few images I used for inspiration:
Here is what the masks ended up looking like when they came out of the laser cutter!
Because we couldn’t find wood that was both thick enough and wide enough to fit all the masks into, we ended up adapting our method of fitting them together. We laser cut little joints that connected each side of the mask. Once the joints were in place, we traced the position of the masks on our remaining piece of wood (our base), uploaded a photo of the traced wood to Illustrator and traced again within the program. This way we were able to laser cut the small slots for our masks. Here’s the final product! It’s not really a “box” so much as a ceremonial candle holder, but we’re still pleased with the result.