FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – In a street full of witches, superheroes and ghosts, Jennifer Harrison’s Halloween accessories stand out.
Her handmade masks double as works of art. At her home studio in Fort Worth, Harrison uses her hands to turn scraps of leather into the stuff of dreams.
“What I want is for it to kind of look gross and like algae and fungus,” Harrison says, painting a green leather mask.
It began as a hobby in college more than 20 years ago.
“I saw a mask at Scarborough Fair and I thought, ‘Ohh cool. I want one of those,” she recalls.
A self-taught mask maker, she turned a craft into a career.
“I made the first one and it sold just right away. I’ve been making them ever since. People love them,” Harrison says.
From flora to fauna, and sometimes, just plain creepy, customers send her an idea and she brings it to life.
“When you wet leather down it gets really pliable and as it hardens it stiffens up as it dries, and you can start tooling it,” she explains.
The beauty is in the details: Harrison’s work has a signature look.
“It’s a piece of art, and if you’ve got a party to go to you can put it on and go wear it to the party,” she says.
The finished pieces are striking enough to hang on a wall, but as Harrison says, the best place to display them? On your face.
“It’s one of the great things about Halloween for me is i don’t need a costume!” Harrison says.
If you love the look of Jennifer Harrison’s masks, you’ll need to come up with your costume early.
It can take weeks to complete one, so people should put in orders for custom Halloween masks months in advance.