The Bug Mask Video 3 – He’s Getting Bigger!

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Cicada MaskMy cicada bug mask keeps getting bigger – now it’s the whole bug and not just his face. (do bugs have faces?). This is what happens when you design as you go. :)

>Video 1 – finding the dead cicada and starting the clay model.

>Video 2, still working on the clay model, adding plaster cloth.

>Video 4 – adding the wings and painting the cicada

After I put the wings and legs on I’ll decide if I’m going to wear it on Halloween. If he looks as interesting as I think he will, I just might. You’re never too old to wear a giant bug on your head, are you?

But then again, he might scare the little kids who come to the door, so maybe I won’t. We’ll see…

Because the original clay sculpt was covered in plaster cloth, the inside of this sculpture/headdress/mask will still fit over my head.

The back-end of the bug was added with light-weight crumpled foil and hot glue, then covered with paper mache clay.

Next, I’ll add the wings, legs, and whiskers and paint the beautiful rust-colored markings on his head.

This is how he looked after the helmet shape was completed in plaster cloth, and before I added the crumpled foil for the tail end of the bug – it looks pretty rough, but by that time I knew I’d be covering it with the rest of the bug, so didn’t matter. It’s smoother on the inside.

Cicada mask before his tail was added.The only part of this project that is remotely like the animal sculptures in my book is the actual recipe for paper mache clay. But if you’d like a full course on how to use patterns to create realistic animal sculptures, you’ll like the book – you can find it here.

The only bug in my mask book is a butterfly, and it’s a lot prettier than this cicada – so if you want to know how I make masks when I’m not experimenting, you can find my book on how to make paper mache masks here.

Have fun!

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14 thoughts on “The Bug Mask Video 3 – He’s Getting Bigger!”

  1. Jonni, you sre such an inspiration for all of us artist. Thank you for your sweet voice and enthusiasm which makes your videos so worthwhile. I am a great fan ordering your books this month. Keep that imagination whirling. Thanks again, Rhonda

  2. Hi Jonni, bugs are love them or leave them or hate them: they are still a big part of our lives. When I lived in the Philippines while growing up, we had cicadas every year and they were very noisy it was a symphony of sounds. Our dragonflies were huge, our lizards came from very small to huge. Mosquito’s during mosquito season were the nuisance that really got a lot of attention of the government for obvious reasons. But it was life and we lived with it. If someone told me as a child that I would be taking lots of photos of slugs when I grew up, I would have looked at them as if they had more bats flying out of the belfry. My slug photos were used extensively in websites around the globe. Your bug hat is a testament to the fact that we will still always live in a bug world and will still be here while we are all gone. They are fascinating in the animal world. I will be waiting to see how this bug hat comes out.

    • Oh my gosh Christine, we were just in your neck of the woods in Oregon and Washington and we couldn’t believe the size of the slugs we saw! We also were obsessed with getting pictures of them…..so you are not alone! They were pretty spectacular but we are glad we don’t have them in our garden.

  3. We don’t have cicadas up here in Scotland, so I don’t know what they look/sound like. But I like how you are progressing with your mask. Paper/clay all comes together at the last minute and then tad dah there it is! Looking forward to seeing the end result of your bug mask.

  4. Hi Jonni, I just wanted to say I made a lion and used the foil for his mane and it turned out great! Because of you I’ve made 24 animals most of the African ones that I have in my home and have given away 19 as gifts. I can’t stop making them!!

    • Diane, that’s fantastic! Have you shown us any of your animals? Forgive me if you have and I forgot, but even if you did we want to see them again! Right, everyone?

  5. One is never too old to wear a bug on their head! In fact, you will be the delight of all the little kids on the block if you do! This has turned out to be much more of a project than you had originally intended! I’m sure there are Halloween enthusiasts that will take quite a bit from your experimentations, for spiders, bees, beetles, etc.
    You know, when we were in the Pacific Northwest hiking in the mountains, we were amazed that there were no insect sounds like there is here in PA. Do they get cicadas and crickets out there? They are still rather active here at home.

    • Hi Eileen. I do like the idea of wearing a bug on my head – I think I’ll do it. I hope to start on the wings today. And yes, as is often the case, this project seems to be getting a little out of hand.

      We have the crickets and the cicadas here in Minnesota, but I never heard such a racket when I lived in Oregon and Washington. There were lots of bugs. Just no loud bugs. Eastern Washington has black widow spiders and rattlesnakes, but they don’t make much noise. I think the one thing about Minnesota that was hardest for me to get used to were the bugs – and the tiny crawling things that look like little icky slugs that burrow in the ground. And the bugs that eat the stems on your squash plants so all fifteen feet of vine dies overnight. And the little black beetles that get inside your almost-ripe tomatoes and leave nothing but a red empty sack hanging on the plants. Gosh – I think I just wrote an entire rant! But the cicadas are really nice. Like tiny, harmonious chain saws living in the trees. :)

      • I don’t know about the squash and tomato pests as I do not get enough sun to have a vegetable garden. We also have katydids here and boy do they make a racket. When they screech at you through the window screen late at night, you nearly jump out of your skin! Very interesting looking as well. Here is a youtube video of one.


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