Venetian Mask Colombina
This mask transmits an aura of charm and mystery during our stay and our walks through the streets of Venice and embodies a character clever and chatty, pretty and lively, always at the center of love intrigues.
Colombina mask, in its many different versions, is one of the most famous Venetian masks and it represents the essence of masking. This classic version is handmade in papier-mache, easily wearable and light enough to be worn for a whole day.
The Colombina mask has a great importance among the creations of our laboratory because due to its versatility it is very much in demand. Thanks to its simplicity it can be enriched with swarovsky crystals, laces, precious fabrics, feathers of various shapes and sizes and whatever else is desired.
A particularity of the Colombina mask is that of not being a mask only for women. It is very appreciated, if not the most widespread even among men because of its versatility in terms of shapes and colors. The masks made in our laboratory are produced exclusively in papier-mâché and decorated, enriched and assembled all by hand with the ancient techniques of Venetian masks. Our masks are also the only ones to have the “100% made in Italy certified” certification that guarantee the customer from the purchase to the fake or fallacious products or even in plastic.
What is a Colombina mask?
The Colombina is a mask that, despite having various forms, has the characteristic of covering only the upper part of the face around the eyes and part of the nose. Its origins derive from the character of the Colombina, one of the first female characters to appear in the representations of the commedia dell’arte around the 17th century.
The Colombina servant in fact wore a mask that covered only her eyes and was flirtatious with the men of the court. In fact, in the tradition of Venetian masks the Colombina has the particularity, thanks to its shape and its decorations, of making the wearer mischievous, flirtatious, mysterious. The mask was made with the materials that were available, like paper and isinglass (papier-mache) or rag cloths. Today the tradition is taken up by local artisans like us who, having created production techniques, always by hand, produce the Colombina still in papier-mache recreating the original product. Many Colombina masks are imported products made of plastic or similar but have nothing to do with the original product.
Does the Colombian character of the Art Comedy wear a mask?
The “Colombina” servant was part of the actors of the art comedy and wore the famous mask and costume. The costume is very similar to that of harlequin, with lozenges on a white background filled with pastel colors like yellow, red, green and purple, the colors available at the time. Her mask was originally in black papier-mache.
With what procedure do we make the Colombina mask?
The Colombina, like all the other papier-mâché masks, is made exclusively by hand (there are no machines for making the papier-mâché masks). It starts with a “negative” mold (the reverse of the finished product) into which pieces of special paper cut into strips and previously immersed in a mixture of water and glue are inserted.
These pieces of paper are applied inside the mold from the center to the outside until they come out. The first layer is thus created, this layer is crushed with force using the fingers of the hand so that the paper adheres to the mold and does not create wrinkles or creases. The greater the force applied to the paper layer, the better the final surface result will be. With the same system we create the second layer and so on, up to the fourth or fifth layer (depending on the thickness of the paper used). At this point if the pressure applied to the various layers is sufficient to make them compact one to the other, the Colombina is extracted from the mold and left to dry in the open air. After drying for at least 24/48 hours, we made the eyes with the help of a special small knife, then with the blade of the knife one passes to trim the outer part from excess papier-mache.
The next step is to use putties to fill in all those folds or wrinkles that have formed by applying the first layer of paper and cola. This operation serves to fill all the cracks of the Colombina. Once dried, we remove the excess of the dry putty with sandpaper to obtain a smooth surface without any cracking or wrinkling. Finally white colored layer is spread to prepare the surface of the Colombina Mask for decoration. In this way, after various and laborious manual operations, the base is obtained to decorate our Colombina.
Available colors: Black, Black/Black, Blue, Red, Bronze, Green, Pink, Silver, Violet, White, White/White
Our products are unique handmade pieces therefore all the images are indicative, as well as the measurements and colors that may be subject to variations.