How to Make the Greek Comedy and Tragedy Masks

Written by lauren vork
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How to Make the Greek Comedy and Tragedy Masks

For theatre aficionados, there is no symbol of the craft more iconic and than the paired Greek "comedy" and "tragedy" masks. Sculpting these masks in clay is a fun, easy project, and can produce a great gift for the theatre lover in your life. These instructions make miniature masks, but the same process can pertain to masks of any size. Use them to make anything from a wall hanging to a lapel pin.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Clay
  • Pencil, bamboo skewer or sharpened dowel
  • Paint (optional)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Form two equally sized balls of clay, one for each of the two masks.

    How to Make the Greek Comedy and Tragedy Masks
  2. 2

    Begin forming the first mask by flattening the first ball of clay. Press the top until you have a disk of roughly the desired thickness of your mask.

    How to Make the Greek Comedy and Tragedy Masks
  3. 3

    Press the sides of the mask on either side to form an oblong, oval shape.

    How to Make the Greek Comedy and Tragedy Masks
  4. 4

    Form the chin by pinching in the bottom sides of the mask.

    How to Make the Greek Comedy and Tragedy Masks
  5. 5

    Pinch the upper right and left sides into points and flatten the top edge. The latter is achieved by lifting the mask and pressing the top against your flat work surface.

    How to Make the Greek Comedy and Tragedy Masks
  6. 6

    Use your sculpting tool (like a pencil, bamboo skewer or sharpened dowel) to create eyes. Start by making basic, round holes, making sure to position them evenly and where you want them. If necessary, poke and hollow from both the front and the back.

    How to Make the Greek Comedy and Tragedy Masks
  7. 7

    Shape the edges of the eyes by placing your tool at an angle, making the holes lemon-shaped.

    How to Make the Greek Comedy and Tragedy Masks
  8. 8

    Form the nose by taking an additional small piece of clay and forming it into a long pyramid. Flatten the edges against your workspace. Attach the nose to the face, taking care to blend in the edges of the clay.

    How to Make the Greek Comedy and Tragedy Masks
  9. 9

    Shape an upturned mouth with your sculpting tool. Again, you may need to poke this hole from both the front and the back to give it the right appearance.

    How to Make the Greek Comedy and Tragedy Masks
  10. 10

    Repeat Steps 1 through 9 with the second ball of clay, but form this one with a down-turned mouth. For the most iconic look, join these masks at the chin, at an angle, as shown. If you have used a hardening clay, you can paint these masks or decorate them as you like.

  1. 1
    How to Make the Greek Comedy and Tragedy Masks

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