Copy and save Pierangelo Summa’s theatre masks’ moulds

Pierangelo Summa, mask creator, theatre director and puppeteer, produced more than 6000 leather or papier-maché masks for theatre between 1980 and 2010.

In spite of Pierangelo’s death in 2015, we managed to preserve nearly a hundred moulds of his masks, which are essential for the creation of the leather version of the masks. In fact, it is on these moulds, on these basis, that the leather is crafted, giving then birth to the leather mask. Most of these moulds are Commedia dell’Arte, but there are also other kinds of masks, unique creations.

Most of these moulds had been sculpted with resin, which is quite a solid material, but which also tends to break apart as years go by.

Because I have now taken over my father’s work, and also because I want to keep these masks and moulds alive, I often craft leather on my father’s resin moulds, which however tends to accelerate the wear and tear process.

Luckily, a few months ago we met an artisan near Como (the city where my father was born in the North of Italy), who owns incredible machines, that allow to copy any type of object in a very precise way, into two identical wooden copies.

Wooden moulds are much more solid and durable through time, not to mention they are perfectly adapted for the crafting of leather masks. Consequently, this artisan offers us the possibility to copy a big part of Pierangelo’s moulds, and therefore to save them.

Help us fund this operation !

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Keeping alive an essential art - an art that is still alive !

Taking into consideration the quantity of moulds for Commedia dell’Arte masks that Pierangelo Summa left us (nearly a hundred), it is a unique artistic heritage. Among those moulds, one can find of course the most famous Commedia dell’Arte characters (Harlequin, Brighella, Punch, the Captain, Pantalone…), which are available in many variations (Harlequin-Monkey, Harlequin-Cat, Classic Captain, Captain-Cyrano…) but also a lot of more mysterious characters. Through this copying operation, and through this crowdfunding, you could also help us identify these other strange and forgotten Commedia dell’Arte characters !

This copying process is essential in keeping all these masks alive !

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This is what I need backing for.

Thanks to the money we hope to get via this crowdfunding, we will be able to finance the copying of thirty moulds - the most deteriorating ones - into wooden copies, that will then be the basis for the future fabrication of hand-made leather masks.

Thank you, everyone !!

Photos : Yves Humbert (Pierangelo Summa in Nyon, CH, 1985 ca.) Video : Greta Cavaliere Thanks to them and to Sara Summa for the artistic support !

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