Masketeers concoct all-natural scare

October 30, 1992|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

A roomful of masked faces greeted parents picking up children from Piney Run's Nature Center.

"Who is that masked child?" asked the amused mothers and fathers, confronted Tuesday with hairy, scary masqueraders, in painted faces surrounded by bright leaves and corn tassels.

The children made the masks of all-natural ingredients, gathered from the park grounds and pasted on paper-plate bases.

"I want to be Mr. Weirdie Hair," said Keith Rice, 7, as he piled corn silk on his plate and looked around the table for what could pass for fangs. "I need some Dracula things."

Deanna Hofmann, the park naturalist and creative adviser for the young artists, had a suggestion: "Scrape the bark from the twigs and you will have white fangs."

Keith finished the session with the heaviest mask and hoped his plate could hold all the glued seeds, leaves and corncobs.

"Pass me the glue," said Carl Varny, 7. "I need some to put an extra eye on my face."

Amid the mask making, Ms. Hofmann found a shortage of materials. The class went into the surrounding woods to gather more decorations.

"Look for flat things; nothing too big or heavy," she said to the children, who spent more time tossing leaves than collecting them.

Brian Haines, 8, searched for seeds to make his mask frightful.

"I probably won't scare my brother, but I might scare my mom," he said with a chuckle.

Chrissy Cavey, 8, who brought a basketful of dried flowers and decorations from her yard, wanted a thing of beauty. She used red maple leaves for ears and golden yarrow for a floral nose. A dainty feather, placed in the center of the forehead, provided the crowning touch.

"I might lend my mask to my brother. He's 3 and he might like it," she said.

Timothy Beith, 9, the most methodical mask maker, rearranged many different items before finally deciding to go with the werewolf look. He covered his plate completely with brown corn silk and dangled long white fangs, taped to the inside of the plate, from the monster's mouth.

"I am a big monster person," he said. "I would like to make somebody faint."

Chelsea Haslup, 6, framed her mask with "hugest" leaves and made bushy eyebrows of stems. Her twin sister, Erica, made a "happy face" with a foxtail grass smile and a beard of feathers.

"We have two of everything in our room at home," said Erica. "We aren't making twin masks."

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