Monthly Archives: November 2015

On Wednesday 23rd November, Outburst met again. This time we cast faces using plaster bandage. Eight of them which become negative moulds. I spent a few hours on sunday painting the insides with clay slip, then casting them with plaster to make positives. I removed the plaster bandage and washed the faces clean. We now have facsimiles of faces.

Because of the bandages, the tissue eye protecters and the inexactitude of this process, we have ‘veiled’ faces. This suggests an idea of ‘veiling’ for the emerging project. We shall see what the next week brings.

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Windows Phone_20151123_001Thursday 19th November

Ian Pringle and S.J. visit Did Hopkins to start the process of our collaboration.Windows Phone_20151119_001

In just three hours we have a project plan, MORE dates to work together. What a glorious start to a project.  We have planted the seed (commonality of impulse for  street/public/art for all/ mask theatre),  grown a root (the structure for our devised piece)  and begun to grow the plant itself (established the starting point for making the masks). And we had a beautiful Lunch.
I am thrilled at this new beginning, it is so much more than I had wished for. It is so much more of a piece of art now that there are such a talented, experienced set of partners involved.  This is such a different  and alive universe now away from the world of bid writing, budget planning and administration.       Ahhh, I am alive again.

Next stop, studio, drawing,researches and clay-play.


First session with “OUTBURST” by OutMask (S.J. and Mary-Rita).

What a lovely way in. Several folks once again from when we met in May.  Some new faces. It will take me a while to remember all your names but I am so happy to meet you all. I was very nervous about this meeting as I don’t usually work with teenager’s, out of my own choice. I never like being one myself and was always cautious of the ‘bullies’. But here, I am with my own kind, ha ha. I can be Stephen Jon, gay man, with my own history and with skills to share. I am so interested to learn from the group how ‘The Mask’ might sit with contemporary thinking particularly on feelings concerning gender, identity and whatever else that will surely come up.


The beginning.

I think already that this partnership is blessed.IMG_2418

It has started with laughter and sharing.

SJ and Mary-Rita will meet OutBurst this week. Just don’t know what will happen and that is the joy of it. Our agenda is just to find out, nothing else.


What a wonderful week. The week of my annual teaching mask-making to Theatre Design students at Nottingham,m Trent University.

20 of them this year. They have been super fast and super focused. There attention to the Mask Symposium two weeks ago clearly influenced their understanding of the a mask is and what is can be used for. Design brief was as usual, a random selection of an archetypal character PLUS a qualifying adjective.

Windows Phone_20151027_002 Windows Phone_20151027_004 Windows Phone_20151027_001 Windows Phone_20151029_001 Windows Phone_20151029_002The quality of the work has been exceptionally high.

The project started with Peter Rumney and his lecture on ‘Shamanism” as a likely root of theatre. Then S.J. demonstration of mask styles, Neutral, Naive, Archetypal Character, Emblematic character, The Human Animal and Commedia dell’Arte and Design Brief. Day 2, drawing and clay design, Day 3, barrier layer and first paper, Day 4 J-cloth layer and final layer of paper,  Day 5, removing from clay, cutting, trimming, edging, painting and performing. Intense, hand-on, experiential learning.