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Princess Mononoke Mask by nippyfrog Princess Mononoke Mask by nippyfrog
A fan art piece. Replica of the Mask worn by San in Princess Mononoke.

I get a lot of questions so I'm going to try and nip that in the bud right here with this FAQ.
I'm always glad to hear that people enjoy and it makes me happy it's greeted with such enthusiasm.
If you do make a mask I'd love to see it! Let me know about it or post in the comments. I'll link you in the bottom of this description.

I cosplay and I want to make a mask like this to wear, how do I do it?
A lot of people ask how I made this and they always want to make one like it to wear. Problem is that a real replica of the mask is heavy to wear and you risk breaking something you spent weeks making.

This was made to be a replica, so end the end it's not really something you want to chance wearing around since it's actually clay which makes it fragile.
1. It's heavy
2. There is such a high risk of it breaking or falling off your face from being heavy.

My thoughts on making a replica mask that you can wear.
If you don't mind the idea of breaking something you spent weeks painstakingly crafting, I have some thoughts on how to make an authentic looking Mononoke mask to stay on your face.
This mask was originally made with the intent of being able to wear it, but it's decently heavy. I originally was going to put very large elastic around the back of the head attaching to the face of the mask like a hockey mask or something. I'm not sure that would have done the job.
Looking back I could have made a plaster mold of my face for the inside and padded it with something in order for it to sit better. It might have anchored it on my head somehow too. I suggest looking into plaster molds if you really want to wear it on your face, and something that would heavy duty anchor it to your face. Getting it to stay on your head without breaking and looking authentic is going to be a challenge and a lot of hard work, but I don't feel it's impossible. More power to you and good luck!


What is it made of?
It's made out of rabbit fur and brown clay which I glazed. You have to know how to kneed clay, know what slip is, and always score when you apply new pieces of clay so it won't explode. This is a HUGE problem with people new to clay and they don't take it seriously enough. I had someone else's clay project DESTROY a project of mine I spent weeks on because they did not kneed/score and slip properly or at all.
You need a kiln to fire it in. Then when you glaze it you need a kiln once again to fire the glaze.

OMG YOU USED REAL FUR?
It was from a thrift store (something old from a long time ago)- I don't support fur sport, but this animal was already killed a long time ago. I support making use of things that are already here, but not making new fur to sell. This animal died in vain and I acquired it for almost free from goodwill to make art with. I would never buy fur from a real store and support the fur trade.

How do you make the mask?
To start it I put a big slab of clay over a bowl and some wet newspaper lining it and filling spots where it needed to round out more. Then I smoothed out all the curves on it and let it sit overnight with sponges around it and covered so it would get more stiff, but not dry. Then I carved out what I wanted each day allowing it to dry a little more adding clay and carving it to get the geometry correct. I poked holes all around the edges of the mask so I could attach the fur later. Then it was fired and then glazed and fired again. It was quite the project. When people come over my house and don't know what it is they always say it's really creepy. I guess it kind of is.

How did you make the ears?
I made the ears by making basically a hollow 3 sided pyramid with one side missing. The bottom part I poked holes in so I could sew the fur on.

How long did this take you?
I worked on it for weeks. Plus you have to wait for it to dry completely, fire it, glaze it, fire it, assemble it. It's a very large project if you want it to look real. Get ready. ;)
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmoonunicorn123:
moonunicorn123 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That is fantastic!! I love all the studio Ghibli Film and Princess Mononoke is one of my favourites! Well done Nippy Frog!
Reply
:iconpokesmosher365:
PokeSmosher365 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012  Student General Artist
Can you post a picture of yourself wearing it?
Reply
:iconfluffyspiderz:
FluffySpiderz Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I've seen a great paper mache version.
Reply
:iconknightobsidian:
knightobsidian Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012
would there be a way to make one out of wood?
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012
I think there would. That is a good idea!

Also- lightweight plaster might work.
Reply
:iconknightobsidian:
knightobsidian Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012
is there a way to make one out of wood? then paint.
Reply
:iconadrianimation:
adrianimation Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2011  Student Filmographer
this is really good! I love how you did the ceramics! I'm making a San cosplay and I used a plastic decorating mask from hobby lobby and I paper-mache'd it to make the eyes and mouth pop out. I'm going to prime it later and then paint it.
Reply
:iconglittered-silence:
glittered-silence Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2010
Wow this is gorgeous. Im making one as well hopefully starting wednesday, though instead of using clay im using plaster, so hopefully min will be lighter and a lil less work.
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012
How did this come out? Plaster is a good idea.
Reply
:iconlareine22:
LaReine22 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2010  Student Photographer
OMG DO WANT.
Reply
:iconchihiro22:
Chihiro22 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2009
Very nice :] You're one of the few people who got the eyeholes positioned correctly. Other masks are great but the ruined with too far apart iof too close together eyes lmao

I was thinking of making her mask as part of my halloween costume, and i have worked with clay quite a bit in art and out of school pottery lessons when i was younger, but i still think it will be too heavy. Is fimo any lighter? If it isnt, do you think making the mask outta paper mache and then adding a thin layer of clay or fimo over the top would work? Any tips appreciated :]
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2009
hmm - I'm not sure if there would be a point to putting clay around it at all. If you can fake the look by sandpapering it and using maybe acrylic paint and matt acrylic glaze over it.
Reply
:iconchihiro22:
Chihiro22 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2009
P.s I heard about people using paperclay, so i'm guessing it's lighter, but has the same properties of clay, but i dunno the difficulty of using it.
Reply
:iconrevolution139:
Revolution139 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i'lll buy it off you!!!! just say the price!!!
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2009
haha errrmmm not sure I want to sell it haha
Depends on what I was offered I suppose. ;P
Reply
:iconrevolution139:
Revolution139 Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
well how much? If ya want to sell it if not it's cool
Reply
:iconlilium-nightshade:
Lilium-Nightshade Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2009
O.O amazing
Reply
:icondavekeeling:
davekeeling Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2009
That's awesome, it looks exactly like the one from the movie! Great job!
Reply
:iconsage-of-the-diviners:
sage-of-the-diviners Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Terrific crafting on here :)
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2008
Thank you
Reply
:iconmanga-shadow-wolf:
manga-shadow-wolf Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2008
WOW!
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2008
thanks :)
Reply
:iconmanga-shadow-wolf:
manga-shadow-wolf Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2008
It's supper cool!!
Reply
:iconlitwolf689:
Litwolf689 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2008
Wow thats fantastic! You put in perfect detail on the mask.

If you dont mind me asking, what did you make it out of and how did you get the ears to stand and stick to the fabric? Im a San cosplayer and wanted to improve upon my cosplay by making the mask and her knife for next year. I was gonna do it out of papermache because its lightweight but yours looks much more solid.
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2008
This mask was originally made with the intent of being able to wear it, but it's decently heavy. I originally was going to put very large elastic around the back of the head attaching to the face of the mask like a hockey mask or something. I'm not sure that would have done the job.
Looking back I could have made a plaster mold of my face for the inside and padded it with something in order for it to sit better. It might have anchored it on my head somehow too.

This was made to be a replica, so end the end it's not really something you want to chance wearing around since it's actually clay which makes it fragile.
1. It's heavy
2. There is such a high risk of it breaking or falling off your face from being heavy.

It's made out of rabbit fur and brown clay which I glazed. You have to know how to kneed clay so it won't explode and you need a kiln to fire it in. Then when you glaze it you need a kiln once again to fire the glaze.
I made the ears by making basically a hollow 3 sided pyramid with one side missing. The bottom part I poked holes in so I could sew the fur on.
Reply
:iconlitwolf689:
Litwolf689 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2008
Wow. By your reply and your artist comment's, I can see you put a lot of time and effort into this. Im just blown away.

As the only time I ever worked with clay was during elementary school, I think Ill pass on using clay. And, as you said, it would be really heavy andfraglie to wear at a convention all day. So I think Ill stick with papermache. I made a No-face mask this year and it held up very nicely. Ill atempt my mask around Christmas (that way it doesnt distract me from classes).

Thanks so much for your tips! Ill keep them in mind when I make mine. Thanks!
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2008
Thank you so much! :)

I think if you get creative and find the right materials you could fake up the look of a real clay mask. Good luck!
I still want to make one I can wear to cons too!
Reply
:iconolobocanta:
OLoboCanta Featured By Owner May 27, 2008
this is so great!
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner May 28, 2008
Thanks so much!
Reply
:iconshotgunsniping:
ShotgunSniping Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2008
That's fucking awesome!
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2008
Thank you!
Reply
:iconmistresskurumi:
MistressKurumi Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Neat.
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2008
Thank you!
Reply
:iconmistresskurumi:
MistressKurumi Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yw!!
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2008
:D
Reply
:iconmononokehimesan200:
MononokeHimeSan200 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2008
Could I ask how you made it from brown clay? I also need to know where to get brown clay x__x
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2008
You'll need a kiln too or else you can't fire it.
I explained earlier in the comments how to do it. There aren't that many so it's easy to find. :)
Reply
:iconelibbabeth:
Elibbabeth Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2008
Oh. My. Gosh. I WANT ONE! :)

Awesome work!
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2008
Thanks so much !! :DDD
Reply
:iconsamariyu:
Samariyu Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008
Oh yeah, another thing: how did you make the ears? (And what types of glazes did you use?)
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008
Oh and the thickness I had it at made it possible for it to fit on my face. I originally was going to put very large elastic around the back of the head attaching to the face of the mask like a hockey mask or something. I'm not sure that would have done the job.
Looking back I could have made a plaster mold of my face for the inside and padded it with something in order for it to sit better. It might have anchored it on my head somehow too.
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008
I honestly can't remember. It was whatever my school had at the time. I made this mask almost 5+ years ago. Wow... it doesn't feel that long ago. O_O

I just took clay and formed ears hehe.

You could make it thinner but it would probably be very delicate. I assume you want it thinner so you can wear it, but I think you would break it wearing it if it was so thin.
Reply
:iconsamariyu:
Samariyu Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008
Do you think it would be possible to make one with a slab only 1/2 and inch thick? (Great job, btw. If I knew where you lived then I would steal it ;). )
Reply
:icondeadfreya:
deadfreya Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2008
It's perfect! Great work!
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2008
Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconsp4depir4te:
sp4depir4te Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2007
it does look awesome, but can it take a musket to the forehead lol jk
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2007
haha I think it might fair as well as hers did and break in half. :P
It's very sturdy and heavy for the most part. It's got a width of about 1 and a half inches think and more in some places. That's why I can't really wear it though. It's heavy!
Reply
:iconsp4depir4te:
sp4depir4te Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2007
wow that weight might be why it only split lol
Reply
:iconnippyfrog:
nippyfrog Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2007
hehe :P
Reply
:iconsakura1989:
sakura1989 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2007
thats awesome but how long did that take to make?
Reply
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October 21, 2006
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