Lots of people have been getting creative with mask-making over the past year — but none more so than members of the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS).
As the society’s national competition has been moved to September, committee member and master saddler Karen Schlotter came up with a new idea.
Members were asked to design and make a mask such as a carnival, masquerade or fancy dress wear, or an animal’s face, to be worn with a strap or mounted on a handle. Entries had to be made mainly of leather, but with “embellishments”. The aim was to show off the “many and varied skills of those in the saddlery trade”.
SMS chief executive Hazel Morley said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to those who entered and gave us a really interesting competition.
“All entrants really pushed the boat out and I was blown away by their imagination and ingenuity.”
The masks were judged first by SMS master saddler judges Mark Romain, Catherine Baker and Ms Schlotter, then went to a vote on Facebook. The results together gave the final outcome.
Jeff Barry won the open class with his “green man” creation.
He said: “The standard in the classes was superb. I was delighted to win the open class and it made all the effort so worthwhile.
“As it has been a bit quieter with the pandemic I decided to enter the competition and I made the mask on and off over a month. I saw an image of the Green Man and thought it would make a brilliant entry; I’m so pleased I did.”
Lucy Cushley finished second in the apprentices, trainee and intermediate members’ class with an entry titled Cernunnos, lord of wild things.
“The competition was just fantastic,” she said. “I was so pleased I decided to enter and the mask actually took me a whole week of 14-hour days.
“I just couldn’t stop making it. I found a picture in a book on ancient Celtic gods and that is where my inspiration came from, even if the end result didn’t turn out like the original image.”
The Saddlers’ Company donated the prizes, of £150, £100 and £50 in each category.
The saddler was presented the award at the British Equestrian Trade Association International trade fair
Champion trainer Nicky Henderson uses a special bridle on Wenyerreadyfreddie with great success
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Capel Manor students’ class
1st Regina Mitchell – Egyptian
2nd Claire Davenport – Roman centurion
3rd Hattie Crabtree – Light blue mask with feathers
Highly commended was awarded to Charley Sheppard for a Samurai mask
Apprentices, trainee and intermediate members’ class
1st Zoe Hurst – Lion
2nd Lucy Cushley – Cernunnos, lord of wild things
3rd Hannah O’Neill – Carved mask
Highly commended was awarded to Gabrielle Mitchley for a Dragon mask
1st Jeff Barry – Green man
2nd Coralie Chung – Chinese new year dragon
3rd Line Hansen – Silver face and feathers
Highly commended was awarded to Corrin King for her mask of thoughts
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