CA’ MACANA - 100% original paper-mache Venetian carnival masks.

Learn how to paint Venetian masks using two cartapesta (papier-mache) masks for families and groups

Each family or small group we host for our courses is different. So we always adapt to the specific needs of each party that signs up for our course.

For example, if there are young children present, we would not risk boring them with an overlong and technical introduction. So the information intended for adults about the history of Venetian masks and the techniques on how to make Venetian masks would be presented during the hands-on work. We try to present the most fascinating aspects of old Venetian life without losing the creative enthusiasm of the little ones.

How to decorate Venetian masks - Course structure


1. We explain how to make a typical Venetian mask using the classic method

It's a method that is 800 years old and used to make all of the masks that you get to choose from when you decide which ones to decorate. You will get to see examples from each stage of the process from clay model to the blank mask ready for decoration.

2. We explain the unusual use of carnival masks in Venice

Here we give special attention to the most important styles of Venetian mask: the "bauta" and the "moretta". Old Venice is truly unique in world history because the use of the mask went beyond the carnival and was a part of daily life for some six months out of the year!

The "bauta" was worn in front of the Doge on the most solemn occasions of social and political life. It was truly a symbol of the city of Venice. Meanwhile, the "moretta", another important mask with a very different meaning, was slightly more frivolous: it was used as a fascinating tool of seduction. To discuss all this properly, we put on a bauta costume to help convey all the details. We also show you a real velvet moretta.


We will then show you a beautiful selection of images taken from old paintings depicting the bauta and the moretta in action in the streets and cafes of Venice as well as the Palazzo Ducale. It is like taking a trip into the Venice of the past! A wonderful virtual trip for families and groups!



1. Choose two masks from different categories and your decorative style

There are over 60 types of Venetian masks for you to choose from representing all the categories. All are made strictly by hand from cartapesta (papier mache).

 Different examples are shown alongside a series of photos reflecting each stage of the techniques used in their creation.

In addition to these carefully presented images, instructors guiding the course will demonstrate directly to participants the various phases of the process for the style selected.

There are twelve different decorative techniques, each different from the others.

We have chosen from among those used in our own work in such a way that changes can be made by you right up to the very end.
This means that if someone at any point is not happy with his or her work, with a bit of help from us the work can be fixed without difficulty.

2.  Decorate your own Venetian mask how you like

Choose to make a totally unique-looking mask or model your mask after examples hanging on the walls.

For the decoration we use acrylic tempura paint, a variety of natural wax for finishing, and metallic colors like gold, silver, and copper.

At each step you'll get to make a fascinating choice that will lead to different outcomes and a different overall look for your Venetian mask.

Each person has a wonderful amount of freedom when it comes to making Venetian masks. We often are asked whether someone can combine different techniques on the same mask, and our answer is always: certainly you can. Likewise, many people are entranced by the types of Venetian masks on display and want to reproduce them. It's a great pleasure for us to help someone recreate one of these handcrafted masks of their very own.

In the final stage of the production process, you can add rhinestones, feathers, and more, which the children particularly enjoy.

The final task is the choosing of the ribbons to put on the finished mask. There are many different colors available to match with the style of the work.

3- End of the course 

Immediately after the end of the course, masks are dry and ready to be wrapped and everybody gets to take home his decorated masks.

This course on how to decorate Venetian masks is a private course for families and groups. Reservations are required along with a 50 Euro non-refundable deposit.

For this type of service we do not accept credit cards or debit cards for paying the balance at the end of the course.

For reservation and enquiry please use the contact format.

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Dorsoduro 3215 30123 Venezia (Italy)
Email: info@camacana.com
Phone:+39 041 5203229
P.IVA: 02070120270

Every day:
10AM - 8PM (Summer time)
10Am - 6:30PM (Winter time)

We are open during holidays

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