Mask making process is creative adventures for students. It provides them to undertake a rigorous process of thoughts to craft their architecture in their own imaginative shape, size, design, colour and their interpretations. The mask making was one of the exciting projects that LME students have carried out as a part of Buddhist Art and Culture unit. The aim of the project was to augment their creative imaginations, give them hands-on experiences, and enhance social interactions. More importantly, the project was to emphasize the importance of process-oriented learning and encourage them to take responsibility in their quest for learning. It was also to make them realize the magic of interdependent reality about how simple process can unfold into their desired product.
The tactile process to select primary materials out of clay, flour, soils, and other possible materials need careful diligence and decision. To carefully pick one, students need to weigh the pros and cons, analyze the best material and take the right decision to choose the right one. It is a lot of thought process for young students. If a student is doing for the first time, the process is research in itself and full of enrichment.
Moulding clay with hands, fingers, and palms can offer a powerful hands-on experience for students to feel through their senses, nonverbal experiences of working physically with the clay. The whole process is about questioning oneself and discovering a satisfactory solution to come up with one’s own creative shape by the end of their project.
Once all the materials are ready students need to think about how to design their masks, to put on creative shape, to make eyes, nose and mouth designs. This painstaking process needs artistic eyes for students to shape, reshape and refine their creation to the best of their motor skills, mathematic sense, visual and other senses.
The mask making process is a craft that requires drying in the sun. As a result, it makes students wait. It is a great way for students to show self-control and patience. It also helps them develop flexibility as they show patience.
Writing reflection about the mask is another activity integrated into the project to give students the opportunity to say and think about their projects. Students were asked to write about their procedure for making their masks; what did their masks represent and what they learned in the process of the project.