About Me

Olga Sem

Maschere and Designer

(403) 890-6121

Hello, dear friends! Welcome to my world of fairy tales, riddles, and the enduring mysteries of the Eternal Carnival.

I would like to share with you my passion for the creation and design of exquisite masks. I learnt my craft long ago in the beautiful city of Venice, where I was taught by an old man called Senor Augusto in his tiny workshop. Following my graduation from art school, I was awarded two science degrees and embarked upon my career. However, I was so busy with my work and with raising my two sons that I never had time to pursue my beloved hobby.

"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances. And one man in his time plays many parts."
William Shakespeare

As a mascherari or master, when I create my masks I always infuse them with true meaning, otherwise the mask is merely empty fashion accessory.

The forms for my masks are made from papier-mache and I work in the old Venetian tradition. I use two papier-mache methods. The first involves paper strips secured together with adhesive and I mostly use this technique. On occasion I will use the second method of obtaining pulp by boiling paper and then adding glue.

The mask is initially sculptured in the form of a clay mold, after which the reverse form is made of gypsum. The paper strips are then added to the reverse form to create the mask. Once dry, the mask is polished and coated with a special layer of paint. In the final stage the crown or headdress is created and decorated. For this I use a range of painting techniques, including 3D painting, glue painting, decoupage, ribbon embroidery, gilding, silvering, crystal mosaic, lace technique, macramé, and wet skin technique.

I put a little piece of my soul into all my masks during the creative process. For me each mask is a living creature and an integral part of the very essence of my dream world. You can view all of my masks in the gallery.

See Masks


Phone: (403) 890-6121

Facebook: Olga Sem