Mask Arts Company

Commedia dell'Arte Masks

Carlo Mazzone-Clementi Collection

The masks I designed under the watchful eye and assistance of the late great master of Commedia dell'Arte of the 20 Century - Carlo Mazzone-Clementi are indicated in the Commedia dell'Arte mask pages.

When I first started making masks Carlo Mazzone-Clementi invited me out to his school to replace his set of masks. He gave me many tips, guiding me in how to sculpt and discover the characters of the Commedia dell'Arte in clay.

This photo was taken by Chris Bickford copyright 2000

Carlo Mazzone-Clementi master teacher of Commedia dell'Arte
This picture is of Carlo holding court with Hovey Burgess and myself at the Memorial for Carlo's friend and my teacher Jacques Lecoq in 1999 in Philadelphia, PA. A mask maker who lived in Pennsylvania took this picture. Carlo with Hovey Burgress & Stanley Allan Sherman in 2000

I owe a lot of my understanding of designing Commedia dell'Arte masks to Carlo Mazzone-Clementi, who spent many hours with me talking about Commedia dell'Arte characters and life in general. I have identified the masks that Carlo guided me in designing.

I would be sculpting some element of a mask for hours and Carlo would come in to the sculpture studio late at night when I was working and look at the mask and say, "no like this" and push his thumb into the clay totally changing something I had been working on all day or for days.

But then I would see and understand the character trait differences he was guiding me to understand. Carlo is also the one who taught me the right way to put hair into a mask and greatly influenced my understanding of Arlecchino and how Arlecchino changed from the mid 1500's in northern Italy to the late 1600's in France.

In those late night visits Carlo would make to the sculpture studio he would often say, "come Stanley you work to hard, you need to drink some wine" and he would order me up stair and we would relax, drink wine and talk about life and Commedia dell'Arte.

"In order to have a live performance you need a live mask, made from a live material." Carlo Mazzone-Clementi

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