Knitted blankets (Charity Knitting)

Saturday, 3 May 2014

The Mask - "Primitive Man"

 "The Mask" as it became to be known was a competition entry for the 1998 Knitting & Stitching Show made and submitted by the members of the then Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Branch of the Knitting & Crochet Guild.

A blank transparent moulded plastic mask was provided by the competition organisers, Creative Exhibitions Ltd, the organisers of the annual Knitting and Stitching Show. The overall size was 28cm x 38cm/11 inches x 15 inches.

The moulded face area of the mask was covered in white papier maché, which was then coloured brown using tea and dabbing with used tea bags.

The knitting, crochet, beading and other skills of the group were drawn upon to decorate the face and to transform the mask into Primitive Man.

The headband is a 2cm/¾ inch wide woven braid of a regular repeated pattern of a red and yellow four-square checkerboard with each of the four squares containing a black dot, then three yellow spots in a vertical line, then a red unfilled square, and then three more yellow dots in a vertical line, all on a black background. Each yellow dot and each black dot in the checkerboard designs is decorated with a yellow bead. The red squares are decorated with spirals of yellow beads.

The front of the hair (the fringe) is black fringing. The hair on the top of the head is a length of black crochet ‘zig-zag’ braid attached repeatedly from one side of the head to the other to cover the area. From under the hair on each side fall irregular lengths of black crochet chain with beads attached at the bottom, and one each side of a length of curlicue hand knitted with black and gold glitter yarn. These lengths are held in place at earring level by a circle of red beads threaded with wire to keep their position. The bottom of the nose is threaded with a semi‑circle of similar beads on wire.

The eyes are black crochet solid eye shapes each with a red plastic disc stuck on to represent the iris and pupil. These eye shapes are echoed by the stitched-on white pearlised sequins.

The cheeks are decorated with crochet leaves, three on each cheek, worked in shades of green. These are linked by a crochet cord forming a decorative ‘beard’. The lips are brown crochet. The red tongue is worked in hand knitted stocking stitch and is wired at the edges to keep its shape. It is decorated with gold coloured metallic thread: eleven French knots and two circles at the tip.

The Mask was made by Doris Brown, Beverley McGeown, Avril Heron, Pam Herron (Branch Co-ordinator), Pauline Hornsby, Marie Phillips, Elza Sayer, Julia Smith and Joyce Vidal

The Mask did not win any prizes at the Knitting and Stitching Show but was selected by the Huntingdon and Godmanchester Twinning Association to be exhibited in an art exhibition at Szentendre, Hungary, in 2000.

Wanting to find a good home for The Mask. it was offered to the Twinning Association and was in turn delivered to the people of Szentendre in 2013. It was presented by David Brown, Chair of the Twinning Szentendre Sub-Committee, to Ferenc Dietz, Mayor of Szentendre, who promised to display the mask in the town. The following three photographs are reproduced with permission from David Brown.

David Brown (left) presenting "The Mask"

Of the original group who made the Mask, in 2013 only five of these members remained although the group is no longer part of the Knitting & Crochet Guild. Another lady has joined the group, making a full gathering of six. We meet once a month on a Sunday. 

Only four of the current group were able to attend the May 2013 meeting. From left to right: Pam Herron, Beverley McGeown, Marion Chilcott and Pauline Hornsby. The missing members were Doris Brown and Julia Smith. 

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