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6
in this fashion are lighter and more resil-
ient than conventional plaster casts, and
are highly suitable as handling objects (see
Figure 5). In the exhibition Behind the Mask
(Banbury Museum, 2003), co-curated by
the Project, visitors were invited to discov-
er a range of specimens representative of
the diversity of the ancient material. This
interaction has far more value than with
most other museum objects, for the origi-
nals, it must be presumed, were in many
cases intended to be held in the hand and
moved, so as to re-experience the life and
transformative power of the masks as seen
in the theatre. The reproduction process
also encourages users to escape from the
primacy of the `original object'. The Lipari
miniatures were produced in a range of
sizes from moulds that shrank from repeat-
ed use. Often the largest examples of a type
are known only from fragments, or may be
presumed lost an enlarged replica is in
this case to some extent the truest speci-
men, and still more so a life-size enlarge-
ment which replicates the original mask or
sculpture from which the miniatures have
been scaled down. (It is often noticeable
that certain details in a sculpture communi-
cate much more strongly when the sculp-
ture is enlarged to life-size, indicating that
this may have been its original dimension.)
T
he construction and decoration of
the finished masks for theatre research
has been carried out by Malcolm Knight,
Director of the Scottish Mask and Puppet
Centre (http://www.scottishmaskandpup-
petcentre.co.uk/). Generally, the method h
as
been to take a plaster cast of the shell, and
build into the negative mould with celastic,
a light and rigid material favoured by mask-
makers. As an experiment, we also produced
masks by printing the shell at a minimal
thickness of 1.5 mm, lining the inside with
celastic, and using the shell itself as the surface
of the mask, so that no definition could be
lost in the casting process. Both acrylic and oil
paints were used for decoration, following the
colour scheme of the original where it sur-
vives, or of comparable specimens.
Figure 2. 3D model of a terracotta mask of a woman, 3rd-2nd century
B.C. Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford, 1872.1276
Figure 3. 3D render of model a fragmentary terracotta mask of a woman,
4th/early 3rd century B.C. Art Gallery and Museum, Kelvingrove,
Glasgow, 1903.70.dt.16

Ashmolean
Museum
of
Ar
t
and
Ar
chaeolo
gy
,

Oxfor
d
/
Richar
d
W
illiams,

2004

Ar
t
Galler
y
and
Museum,

K
elving
r
o
v
e
/
Richar
d
W
illiams,

2004