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~~Leather Masks:~ *..Frequently Asked Questions:
The Merchant of Venice
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Ryl Mandus
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The Merchant of Venice
Granted, most of the questions that folks ask me are civil and intelligent, . . . 
and sometimes they're not.  I'll try to address the intelligent questions here:

Have you had any formal training?
     This question always flatters me, but I must always answer "no".
     Besides, I might ruin my tuxedo that way. 

Do you offer mask-making apprenticeships or workshops?
     Not at this time -- but I can recommend an excellent book on the subject:
        The Prop Builder's Mask-Making Handbook, by Thurston James,
        Betterway Books, ISBN 1-55870-166-4.   Check with Amazon.Com.

Will you send me a mask sample?
     No.  There are no such things as 'mask samples'. 

Will you sell me an unpainted mask so I can paint it myself?
     No.  I don't sell or release unfinished masks. 

Can I buy a mask on Lay-A-Way?
     Nope.  I've gotten burned on this, so I swore to myself  'never again'. 

My payment is in the mail but I don't feel like waiting, so can you send me the mask before the payment arrives, anyway?
     No.  Nuh-uh.  No Way.  I've been burned on this one, too.  Next year file early! 

Will you sell me masks at wholesale prices?
     No.  There is only one pair of hands doing everything -- mine.  Please remember 
     that these masks are art.

Do you rent masks?
     No.  In compliance with local and state health laws, I cannot accept any returns on 
     masks or headdresses.

Do you make wrestling masks?
     No -- my masks may be wild and uninhibited, but they are not violent, . . . much.

Can I come visit your studio?
     Sorry, but not at this time.  My studio is in my home, and my home is not open to the 
     public (not to mention the fact that my insurance agent would have a fit). 

Why haven't you answered my e-mail?
     Could be any of a number of reasons -- 
          (1)  The return e-mail address you provided was invalid, so my response 
                bounced because of 'fatal errors'. 
               (please try again)
          (2)  The address you initially e-mailed to was incorrect -- in other words, 
                your e-mail never reached me. 
               (please try again)
         (3)  My system might have crashed, sending all messages into oblivion. 
               (please try again)
          (4)  I might be under a very heavy work load and haven't had the chance, 
                or I might be rebuilding after a tornado (this is for real -- we were hit 
                by a tornado in April of 1998 -- egadz). 
               (patience, please)
          (5)  I might be taking a vacation/holiday. 
               (patience, please)
          (6) Your communique was impertinent and/or rude. 
          (7) Your server may have automagically dumped my response -- those 
                evil, rotten, nasty spammers have highjacked my e-mail addy, causing 
                it to be socially infected with e-mail cooties, until said servers perform 
                a 'cleansing' of some sort.

If you've sent me e-mail and are still waiting for a response after two weeks, 
please try again.

If the question you have for me isn't in this FAQ, send me an e-mail.
Just make sure that both addresses are correct, though --