mask and quill

Mask and Quill stained glass, a Shakespeare Society icon

One of the very best things I got to do while a student at Wellesley College was to be a member of the Wellesley College Shakespeare Society. This is a small troupe of all women which produces and performs one of Shakespeare’s plays each semester. We play all the parts, in a delightful contradiction to Shakespeare’s day when men did the same. The bond we form as members is a lifetime thing, carried along and made stronger still by all who have come before and after.

Wellesley College Shakespeare Society Mask and QuillOur sort of de facto logo for the Society is a mask and quill. After making a more general Wellesley stained glass piece, I’ve been wanting to make one what would also represent Shakespeare Society. As you can see in this photo of a wooden plaque version of the icon, there’s some ornamental decoration along the outside edge that was giving me pause. After talking with some Shakers at a recent event at the House on campus, it was collectively agreed that the mask and quill itself was sufficient for a glass piece.

That’s all it takes to give me a new shiny thing, and I didn’t waste any time in starting to work on a pattern. In the end, it turned out to be a relatively uncomplicated pattern to make. The quill tip is in grey glass, and the feather of the quill is a perfect use for baroque glass. I polled a few Shakers for color, and both burgundy and a sort of gold were suggested. Since glass doesn’t really come in gold, and yellow felt too far ‘off’ to me, I also did a sample in light wispy amber glass. Seems a very good fit. The open eye and mouth are done in this samples with Clear Satin glass. Provides just a touch of texture to be more than ‘plain’ clear glass, but also still easily suggests the voids that are in all representations I have seen of the Mask and Quill.

Two representations of the Shakespeare Society icon of a mask and quill.

While this mask and quill stained glass piece was designed and made with a very specific group of people in mind, it could certainly appeal to any fans of the Bard, and of theater in general perhaps. Let me know what you think! They are $30 each plus shipping.

Addendum, June 19, 2013.
Had some requests for a couple of other colors in the masks, so made more. Am attaching a photo here to show more of the variety in which masks can be done. I am pleased that they are proving to be fairly popular!