Monday, 25 July 2011


Today we've changed the design of our website, hopefully for the better! If anyone would care to look & tell us their views on the style/colours etc it would be most helpful.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Masquerade Ball

Location: Sandhurst Military Academy, Londondon Rd, Camberley, GU15 4PQ
Description: The masquerade ball is a perfect event for entertaining staff, clients or colleagues or clients as well as having a fun night out. It is an opportunity to enjoy sumptuous hospitality as well as superb entertainment. All this in aid of a terrific cause raising money for limbless war veterans.
To reserve a Gold Table email The evening at Sandhurst Military Academy offers:
  • A champagne reception
  • Three course dinner
  • Complimentary wine until the auction
  • Auction of money cannot buy prizes
  • Silent Auction
  • Music and dancing to a band supported by a disco
  • Fun gambling
For all your mask needs go to

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Types of Mask

Columbina Mask

Popularised by a recurring character in the commedia dell’arte by the same name (also known as Columbine or Columbina), the Columbina is traditionally a half mask adorned with an ornate variety of Jewels, feathers and fabrics. Often painted in gold or silver, it was held in place by either a ribbon or a stick.
Colombina is a maidservant and the lover of Arlecchino. She dressed in a ragged and patched dress, similar to her counterpart Arlecchino (or Harlequin). She was also known to wear heavy makeup around her eyes and carry a tambourine which she could use to fend off the amorous advances of Pantalone.

Volto Full Face Mask
Meaning ‘ghost’ and ‘face’ respectively, this was a white mask of fine wax cloth with a protruding topology that gave it a three-dimensional, beaklike appearance when viewed from the side. It was therefore more comfortable to wear than other varieties, and its simple design usually accompanied by a three-cornered hat and cloak so as to increase the aura of mystery, made it a very common feature of the Carnival over the centuries.
Bauta Mask
Long considered the traditional and archetypal Venetian mask, the Bauta always used to appear in white, and even though it was worn extensively throughout the Carnival period it owes much of its prominence to the fact that it was used all year round by those simply wishing to hide their identity. It was also a comparatively practical mask, since, lacking a mouth and covering only the upper half of the face it enabled masqueraders to eat and talk more freely.

Arlecchino Mask
Arlecchino (Harlequin) is identified by the famous Harlequin costume, with its multicoloured diamond pattern of red, green, and blue – representing clothes that are so old and patched as to have lost their original colour and material. He is a slow thinker who has a love interest in the servant girl Columbina, his lust for her only superseded by his desire for food or fear of his master.

Scaramuccia or Scaramouche Mask
Named after a character from the commedia and also known for covering only the upper half of the face, the Scaramuccia was a black velvet mask distinctive for the thin, pointed and disproportionately extended nose that served to emphasize the character’s typically vainglorious yet cowardly personality. A roguish adventurer and swordsman who replaced Il Capitano in later troupes, he usually serves a master who is not of a high social scale.

Dottore Peste or Plague Doctor Mask
A half-mask with a ghoulishly exaggerated nose, Dottore Peste differs from the Scaramouch in that its nose is conventionally not only wider but also curved downwards like beak, and whereas the latter mask covers the cheekbones, the Plague Doctor only covers the forehead. Its name and peculiar form originates from the 16th Century and the unusual practices of a French physician by the name of Charles de Lorme, who would wear a full face mask with a hollow beak while treating plague sufferers.
The Doctor is the local aristocrat, and/or doctor of medicine or law or anything else he claims to know about, which is most things. Extremely rich, he adores food and good wines, thus he is a little round. He is typically depicted as an elderly man who only knows nonsense. He makes many cruel jokes about the opposite sex and believes that he knows everything about everything.

Pulcinella Mask
Widely believed to be the origin of Punch from Punch & Judy, the character of Pulcinella also gave birth to his own mask. It was usually black, often accompanied by loose-fitting white overalls, and featuring a more restrained variety of hooked nose that, while undoubtedly oversized, still kept a vestige of anthropomorphism
Pulcinella or Punch started out as an idiot simpleton servant, who developed into a complex , cunning character. This poor love-struck hunchback eventually became the model for the English variation – ‘Punch and Judy’. Pulcinella was witty and crafty character but also full of common sense.

Pierrot is a naïve, lunatic clown, unaware of the outside world, always being cheated and joked on by the others. Despite suspicions about things, Pierrot always end up trusting people and believing in their lies. A stock character of pantomime and Commedia dell'Arte.
Gatto Mask

Meaning ‘cat’ in Italian, the Gatto is unsurprisingly shaped like the face of a cat, with the characteristic pointy ears, narrow eyes and button nose. Perhaps more surprising is that it owes its genesis to the scarcity of cats in Venice during the days of the Republic, indicating that felines were prized above other species of domestic animal on account of their rarity

Friday, 22 July 2011

Making a Masquerade Mask

Making paper maché masks is a great way to pass the time when looking for fun and interesting activities to enjoy with the kids or to make your own distinctive design. Not only is it quite easy to create paper mache masks at home, but it also uses common household items in the process.
The materials for this fun mask making project.

A large bowl
Craft paper or newspaper cut into 3cm by 15-23cm strips
Paper maché paste (wallpaper paste or pva glue is good)
Craft knife
Decorations: acrylic paint, feathers, glitter, crystals, etc.
Gold and silver leaf (very good for venetian style masks)
Petroleum jelly (to protect your face)
Straws for the nose (if you are making a full face mask)


Before getting ready to start to make your venetian mask, you should clear a clean work surface & cover with a layer of newspaper or an old table cloth that can get dirty The mask making involves a lot of sticky gluing! Prepare plenty of torn paper strips (the more jagged the edges the better) & the paste.

Start by applying petroleum jelly to the face or balloon then dip the paper strips into the paste & apply. To add strength and body to your mask add strips in a slightly overlapping manner, continuing across the entire mask. Next, wrap short strips about the eyeholes from the front to the back of the mask. Then, allow the first layer to completely dry. You should know that it could take each layer a few hours to dry. When it comes to the second layer, you should angle the strips in a horizontal pattern, still overlapping-Keep doing this until you have the thickness & shape of mask you require


Decorating Your Home-made Paper Maché Mask.

Allow the last layer to dry before decorating. You may make venetian style masks one solid colour, and then add details as you go. You could paint rings around the eyeholes, or include stripes or spots in your decoration. Use hot glue or a strong adhesive to attach feathers, gems, trim tassels and whatever else you would like to have on your custom made venetian style paper mache mask!


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

New Masks

Right the new blank masquerade masks are now availible in our shop & there are lots of new designs! We are now one of the leading suppliers of this type of mask in the UK, plus we are adding to our vast range of other masks as well.....Please feel free to take a look & tell us what you think & if we could improve in any way.

Monday, 18 July 2011

New Line of Blank Masquerade Masks

We have just ordered a fantastic new range of blank venetian masquerade masks that you can decorate or just leave blank, they should be in stock within 7 days so keep checking

Masquerade Balls / Events

If you know of any masquerade balls or parties this year (or next!) then please let us know & we will include them on our websites events page

Mask Making

I've just added a new section about mask making so please feel free to check it out & let me know what you think.

Caring For Your Venetian Masquerade Mask

The best way to keep your masks in top condition is to dust them often u sing either a feather duster or a dry soft cloth but please don't any detergent or chemicals as this will effect the paint or damage the mask itself.
Also keep away from heat, humid conditions or direct sunlight....Doing these simple things can give your Venetian mask many years of pleasure.

Mask Making Book

Just read this fantastic book called "Great Papier Mache" - It's an illustrated guide to papier-mache modelling which provides step-by-step advice about techniques involved in designs such as theatre Venetian masks, masquerade masks, hats, animals such as cats, giraffes and camels, a life-size throne, and even a working grandfather clock!

Masquerade Mask Shop

Simply Masquerade brings the mystery & beauty of Venetian masks to life. We are a small & friendly family run mask boutique based in Cheshire with a fantastic range of traditional Venetian hade made masks which we import direct from Venice as well as a large range of masquerade masks that are just right for any occasion.
If you ever have a certain mask in mind & cannot locate it on our website or you would like assistance in finding a mask to compliment your outfit then please feel free to contact us & we will be more than happy to help you.