Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I know I said I wouldn't write about Italy this evening. I had planned on writing about the Board of Regents election. But I'm still feeling run down and like crap. The level of concentration just isn't there this evening. So instead, photos of four masks we bought while in Italy. I'm not entirely sure we needed four masks and they were a bitch to transport home. However, we fell in love with them and make the effort. And except for one, they managed to make it home unscathed.

The first two masks are mine.

This one ought to be fairly recognizable. It's a Guy Fawkes mask and I bought it in Florence. A little store right around the corner from our hotel. This mask is made of leather and you could watch the guy make masks in his little workshop. I've always wanted one of these masks, ever since I first read the V For Vendetta comics back in the 80s. Now I just need the rest of the costume.

This mask is Venetian. Venice is very proud of its mask making tradition. There's general disgust with the cheap Chinese masks and glassware flooding Venice. However, we found a couple of shops that, while more expensive, produced lovely masks. This one is also mine. It's a touch plain, but I like it. Also, it fits. Much to my annoyance, most of the masks I really liked were simply too small to fit properly. This mask also got crunched a bit being transported, but it's not too serious.

This one and the next one are Cathy's. She nearly went out of her mind trying to select a mask. So many of them are beautiful, but very large and elaborate. Meaning, very difficult to pack. Also, this mask and the red one were made by the same people who made many of the masks for Eyes Wide Shut. Considering how bad that movie was, I'm not sure it's an endorsement, but there's your extra bit of information for the day.

This one Cathy is slightly annoyed with me about. We had our masks and were walking home. There are literally hundreds of stores selling masks in Venice. I don't know why, but this mask caught my eye. I told Cathy she should go try it on. She immediately fell in love with it, although despaired we wouldn't have enough room for all the masks. We did.

By the way, the Venetian masks tend to be papier mache. As Cathy noted to one of the artists, their work is a bit better than what she does with her Grade 5 class.

Finally, just a few other pics of masks in stores. It was always easy to tell the good mask stores from the crappy ones. The good ones would greet you as soon as you walked in and told you to feel free to take photos if you wished. The bad ones had signs plastered all over the place telling you not to take pics.

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